Yet if the Repeal campaign was not to collapse completely under the weight of government prosecutions, it needed to adapt to changed circumstances. For O’Connell himself, perhaps the most successful Irish barrister of his generation, the courtroom was a familiar stage on which to perform. The long-drawn-out drama of the state trial process, from the grand jury’s finding of the indictment in November 1843, through the jury selection and trial proceedings of January and February 1844, to the sentence of a year’s imprisonment on 30 May and the quashing of the convictions on appeal in September, attracted intense public interest. The court galleries and approaches to the Four Courts in Dublin were frequently thronged; detailed accounts appeared in the press and were serialised as pamphlets.
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.