Speech Delivered at a United Irish Meeting in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim

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Speech Delivered at a United Irish Meeting in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim


This speech, apparently delivered by a United Irish organizer but transcribed by a marginally literate informer, reflects the millenarian enthusiasm of the 1790s. Ballyclare was a Presbyterian village not far from Catholic territory in the Glens of Antrim, and the speaker is careful to recommend reading matter compatible with his apocalyptic message from both traditions: "the Old Irish Chronicle" (probably the so-called prophecy of St. Columbkille, circulated among Catholics in Irish-language manuscripts) and "the Scotch Prophecy" (probably a printed pamphlet on the life of Alexander Peden, a seventeenth-century Covenanter).

SEE ALSO Eighteenth-Century Politics: 1795 to 1800—Repression, Rebellion, and Union; Neilson, Samuel; Tandy, James Napper; Tone, Theobald Wolfe; United Irish Societies from 1791 to 1803

I speak to you who are bound Under the hand of Disipotisim I tell you again who now has no recowrce left you only as steddy Union and faithfull Affection one till the other you see by the times that all Yourop is in a blaze you see that the whole Kingdom are Uniting in steddy Affection and stronge tyes one till the other to have that what the have longe been seeking in Vean to have the whole people fearly Represented in parlement and to hav[e] a full Manapisition of all Peopl of Ireland——

My Brithrin I Excort you to look to the Spirit of Freedom hou it Rouses to Arms and Strenthens the feeble and Elivates the brave. in her hand there is such Suckcess and all dispots that must bow and fall Prostrated before her the time calls for your spedy Eade and when dun you only Joyins with the Coming Cause of the Irish Neation A Neation robed and Distressed Crushed Plundred Debaised moked and Cruley distressed by the dispots of England who holds all the Monny and treasure of the Neation wh[o]se Text-seting has no end whos Brutish appetide Cannot be sadisfied Eving with teaking all but lays on the havey, B[ur]thons like Phara in Eigepet, how says, that you shall give in the full-tole of Breek and still with holds the Straw but thanks to Provadance the time of Deleverance is come and a Mighty Salvition is sprung up in France the Taror of yourop who has bound her self to send to your Existance fifty Thousand of well Diciplited Troops with pleanty of Arms and Aminition which when Joyned by one Milion and five Thousand all reaty United by oaths, and who can say again so great a People besides you may Depend on the Greatiest part of the Army ho is now and will bee selisited by thier frends, not to set against thier frends and Releations I will not take up your time in this Idle manner I Recomend the Reeding of the Old Irish Cronical or the Scotch Proficay with manny others at this time is a fullfiling, I beg you will aweak it is freedom and Honnour that Cals you, see what a Progress it has maid and tis still a making this three weeks past has aded to our strenth in Three Miles of this Town one Hundred and fifty Recruits all Duley Tested——

Delevred at our Convention at Bellyclair between the 19th and 20th of this Instant May 1795——

T: F Presedent

G: C Sacry

National Archives of Ireland, Rebellion Papers, 620/22/7, enclosure in R. Johnston, Belfast, to John Lees, 26 May 1795. Reproduced by permission.

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Speech Delivered at a United Irish Meeting in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim

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Speech Delivered at a United Irish Meeting in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim