On the 1st July the Lancaster Gazette carried a report on the Monster Meeting addressed by Daniel O’Connell. Quoting the ‘Cork Examiner ‘, it repeated the reputed number of attendees of 500,000.
Daniel O”Connell arrived heading four stage coaches and a battalion of bands. Parishes from all over West Cork were represented by crowds headed by the respective clergy of each parish.
Among the parishes were,
Bantry, Thomas Barry P.P.
Drimoleague, John Ryan P.P., John Creedon C.C.
Kilmaceba, Joseph Sheehan P.P.
Castlehaven, James Mulcahy P.P., Daniel Freeman C.C., Michael Ross C.C.
Aughadown, Maurice Geary P.P.
Durrus, Richard Quin P.P.
In his address to the crowd Daniel O’Connell stated the it was for the right of every man over 20 years of age having a house, so they would all have a vote except some idle gorsoons (young fellas), without a dwelling and who could not get some honest girl to marry him (cheers and laughter).
They should defy the Landowner when they had the ballot, when the Landlord requested a vote they could say to his honour ‘Arrah then sir, we would not wish to disoblige your honour’ (hear hear!) – when at the same time they might vote for the popular candidate (Cheer Cheer!)
A sum of £500 was afterwards presented to him.
This must have been of of his last public addresses.
It is doubtful if the crowd was as great as reported.
There are various references to Skibbereen in the Daniel O’Connell letters Irish Manuscript Commission online. Members of his family were married into the O’Sullivans of Reendonegan and one of his daughters was the wife of a Resident Magistrate in Bantry. His grand daughter was married to Downes Solicitor and the O’Connell family crest may still adorn their house (Norton House) which was later the residence of Jasper Swanton, Crown Prosecutor, Solicitor and Independent TD for West Cork in the 1920s and 30s.
Pre 1876 Charles O’Connell Resident Magistrate First Catholic MP for Kerry wife 2nd daughter of Daniel O’Connell. In 1876 he was dead when his daughter Theresa married Skibbereen Solicitor Thomas Downes he died 1904. His son married Miss Curtis grand daughter of Martha Evanson of Durrus who was the wife of Rev. Madras.
Born c 1791 Roger O’Sullivan, Kings Inns Attorney Reendonegan. Clerk to Daniel O’Connell son Daniel and Hanora O’Connell Daniel’s sister Daniel O’Connell’s letters
1843-1904 Thomas Downes Solicitor Born son Thomas Mitchelstown, Castleknock College, Gold Medalist, partner with McCarthy Downing MP 1870, land agent to Wrixon-Beecher, Local bodies and railways Married 1876, Teresa d late Charles O’Connell, RM, Bantry, and first Catholic MP for Kerry whose wife was the 2nd daughter of Daniel O’Connell Died 1904, probate to widow Theresa and Daniel O’Connell Esq Agent Bank of Ireland Effects £10,676 5s 6d He moved to Norton Cottage which he bought in 1882 . The house was built by Thomas Attridge Ballydehob later rented by Alexander O’Driscoll JP then to Captain Taylor married to Thomas Attridge’s daughter then the residence of Catholic Bishop Dr Michael O’Hea. The arms of the O’Connell family – A Stag-is still over the front door. Later rented 1908 and bought by 1925 by Jasper Woulfe Solicitor
Ann Maria Curtis, Dungourney, granddaughter, of Martha Evanson, Ballydivane/Friendly Cove, Durrus, married 1867, The Liberator’s (Daniel O’Connell) grandson (Son of Charles Resident Magistrate, Bantry).
Martha married Rev. John Madras, their genealogy is here:
Magistrate: Rev. John Henry Madras (1804-1852), Pre 1831, 1835 sitting Dripsey, Of Huguenot extraction via Amsterdam married 1800 Martha Evanson, Ballydivane/Friendly Cove, Durrus, 3 sons 4 daughters. Died at residence Rathard, Aherla. His granddaughter Ann Maria Curtis, Dungourney, married 1867, Daniel O’Connell’s grandson (Son of Charles RM, Bantry),