Repeal of the Union

Below are extracts from The Times and The Tablet at the dates specified concerning the

Repeal Movement in the Navan area

The Reform Bill, 17 Mar 1832:

A political union has been lately formed at Navan, that is creating a strong sensation through the counties of Meath, Westmeath and Cavan. It has issued a circular, a few extracts from which will best explain its objects, and the spirit in which they are undertaken. Its motto runs thus:

As long as popish spade and scythe

Shall dig and cut the Sassanagh’s tithe,

And popish purses pay the tolls

On heaven’s road for Sassanagh’s souls,

So long the merry reign shall be

Of Captain Rock and his family.

8 Dec 1832: Sir Francis M’Donnell also a magistrate, has joined the ranks of the Repealers on the County of Meath, and presided at a meeting in Navan lately, where he proposed Henry Grattan as the county member, on the refusal of Lord Killeen to take the pledge of repeal.



A repeal meeting was held in Navan, on Tuesday last, which was attended by Mr. O'Connell, and at which it was said there were present no less than 20,000 persons.  In the evening Mr. O'Connell attended a grand dinner prepared for the occasion.  Nicholas Boylan, Esq., J.P., Hiltown House, was called to the chair.  Joseph M'Cann, Esq., was appointed vice-president.  On the right of the chairman sat the distinguished guest and the Very Rev. Eugene O'Reilly; on the left, the Right Rev. Dr. Cantwell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath and Henry Grattan, Esq., M.P. , and in the body of the room were several gentlemen of property and influence, residents of the county.  Upwards of 150 guests sat down.  Mr. O'Connell and Mr. H. Grattan severally addressed the meeting, after which the Right Rev. Dr. Cantwell delivered his opinions on the subject of repeal, and concluded amid loud cheers, by requesting that Mr. O'Connell would propose him a member of the Repeal Association.

29 Dec 1842: Navan (Repeal) Demonstration 1842
There was a “demonstration” as it is called, at the little town of Navan, in the County of Meath, on St. Stephen’s (or bull baiting) day, which was attended by about 5,000 persons.  The principal actors, exclusive of a priest or two, and the local buffoons were engaged from the Corn Exchange, that respectable establishment having “shut shop” on the auspicious occasion.  The names of the speakers will sufficiently attest the importance of this Christmas demonstration - Messrs John O’Connell, Reilly (town councillor and tailor), Father Burke, and some other of still less note.  The whole affair was, in the words of a spectator, an ardent and sincere Repealer “another blot upon the agitation”.

The Freeman’s Journal, 12 Aug 1843 ~ Tara Hill Demonstration

“There was a meeting of the magistrates of the county of Meath held at Navan yesterday, on the requisition, as we understand, of Captain Despard, the Stipendary Magistrate, to take into consideration what steps should be adopted in reference to the great Repeal meeting to be held at Tara on the 15th inst.

The Times, 17 Aug 1843 ~

A resolution, calling on the Government to send down the military, etc., was negative by a large majority, Mr. John Tisdall, of Charlesfort, and several high conservatives, voting in the majority, and against the principle of interference with the Repeal meetings.  Notwithstanding this determination – as wise as it is conciliatory of Meath - the Government have determined, upon sending into the vicinity of the place of meeting two troops of dragoons, in addition to the ordinary forces in the neighbourhood.  Thus do these very wise people not only insult the people by their suspicions, but they insult the magistracy, by acting directly contrary to their expressed opinions.

Navan Sunday August 13 ~ Tara Hill Meeting, Navan

The note of preparation for a Repeal meeting on Tara-hill on Tuesday next has not been sounded in vain.  All these agencies by which the Repeal agitation has been so successfully conducted in other parts of the country, as regard the display of numbers, and the enrolement of hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of associates, have been actively employed in this and in the adjoining counties during the last week or 10 days.  In addition to these may fairly be noticed the exertions of the Meath Independent Club, and of many comfortable farmers and shopkeepers who had been members of it, and withdrew (as I have heard some of them remark) during a political calm, determined to join it again as soon as a fresh storm appeared in the political horizon.

The club of which Mr. O’Connell is the president, and which re establishment in 1827 has been so often instrumental in securing the representation of the county for one of his sons or protégés, or, as at the last general election, for himself, to the temporary discomfiture of Mr. Corbally, who was most unceremoniously sent to the right about in order to make room for the rejected of Dublin.

The Tara-hill meeting has been advertised in all the Dublin and local radical journals, also by large placards which have been posted throughout this and the surrounding counties, containing the requisition (the first signature to which is John Cantwell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath) calling on the people to meet on behalf of Irish rights and liberties, and finishing with the following flourish:-

“Hurrah for Repeal - Victoria our Queen - our watchword liberty, and Ireland for the Irish”.

The appointed for it is Tuesday next, a holyday in the Roman Catholic Church, involving the obligation in the words of its ritual “to hear mass and refrain from servile work”.  As regards labour therefore, it would, under any circumstances, be as much a dies non as the Sabbath; but how far it will be sanctified as the Sabbath ought to be, let the arrangements and preparations for the meeting explain.  From Monday last until yesterday the titular of Meath and 116 of the clergymen of his diocese consigned themselves to voluntary penance in the Academy of Navan, in conformity with the annual, or, I believe, half yearly practice of what is termed “going on retreat”, and which, on this occasion, was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Haly, a Jesuit well known amongst his order as “an eminent ascetic preacher”.  During the retreat,  under that silence is scrupulously enforced even at the hours of meal - that meditation and prayer are required to be formally gone through several times a day; that bishops, deans, and all must go to confession, and finally receive the sacrament as it is administered to laymen.  With this part of the duty, which was performed yesterday morning, terminated the restraint of silence.  The Tara-hill meeting soon after became the theme of conversation, and before breakfast was concluded it was decided, or, I should rather say directed by the bishop that suitable arrangements should be made in each parish of the diocese for affording to the people every opportunity of hearing Mass at a sufficiently early hour on Tuesday morning.



Early on Tuesday morning mass was said in all the churches and chapels of Dublin, in order that no solemnity might be wanting to the day of Tara.  Immediately after the five o'clock mass was concluded the Liberator's procession was formed, and even the enemies of Repeal allow that no men remained in Dublin who could muster means of proceeding to the site of old Ireland's royalty.

The holiday and festival of the Assumption gave a Sabbath feeling to the ceremonies, and the protection of the blessed Virgin was invoked for Ireland, from Irish hearts, as well as Irish lips.  The antecedent week had been spent in strictly spiritual retreat, by the Lord Bishop of Meath, and 116 of his clergy, the subject of meditation being given out by Father Holy, of the Society of Jesus, and the solemn silence, deep devotion, and humiliation, to which the clergy had submitted did not terminate till Monday.  Then the bishop gave directions for the meeting on the morrow:  Among the arrangements was the celebration of four masses on the hill of Tara, between the hours of seven and eleven, for the sake of those who might have missed the spiritual refreshment in their parishes.  This arrangement was the more necessary, as Dublin, Meath, Westmeath, Cavan, Longford, Kildare, King's County, and Wicklow, poured out their sons to this great demonstration.  Tara was the Teagh-mor — the great house (palace) of the Irish nation, in which every three years, from the sixth to the sixteenth, her states' general were convoked, her Parliaments deliberated, and her sovereign princes were elected and inaugurated on that stone of destiny, that passed from Tara to Scone, with Fergus Mac Eve, and from Scone to Westminster Abbey with Edward the First.  On which Brian Boroihme and Victoria equally were first invested with the Sovereign power over the chiefs and people of Ireland. One portion of this fatal stone (Lia Fail) stood still on Tara, till in 1798 it was removed to make the grave of those who fell for Ireland in the "rebel" fight.

It was on Tara heights that St. Patrick unfurled the banner of the cross, on Tara's side that the Danes were defeated in 980, on Tara's plain that the last monarch of all Ireland mustered his forces for the siege of Dublin.  Within the mounds of Tara, O'Neil in 1539, reviewed his troops; and in '98, near Tara, the Irish volunteers were beaten, rather by the spirit of whiskey than by the fencibles and yeomanry by whom they were attacked.  "The harp that once through Tara's walls the soul of music shed" was awakened from the sleep of centuries on Tuesday.  The meeting must have numbered half a million heads.  The Times reporter concedes to the meeting at Tara a more numerous assemblage than that of Enniscorthy (100,000 by his own calculation).


The processions from Drogheda, Trim, and Navan, when joined, filled up the high road for a mile in length.  The order of each procession appeared to be, trumpeter, on horseback; harper, in an open carriage and four; the band, in open carriages and six grey horses; members of committee, in carriages and four; footmen six deep; carriages, cars, gigs, and carts; horsemen four deep; the mounted marshals distinguished by white rosettes worn on the left breast; the Repeal committee of each parish carrying white wands along the line of procession to preserve order.  The Drogheda trades came up the Boyne in lighters, and marched up the hill with twenty-one large and beautiful flags, of various colours and emblems.  They planted their flags on the Rath na-Riagh, waving over the Liafail, and hundreds knelt around to pray for the souls of the patriots whose ashes rest beneath.  The bands played the "Dead March in Saul," then "Patrick's Day," and then " God save the Queen."  Groups of flags waved from the fifty tents upon the ground, the bands in various and gay uniforms gleaned among the crowd.  1,000 vehicles came from Dublin alone, and each town sent others in proportion; and they brought elegantly dressed women to crowd the ladies' platform.  The platform of the speakers held 1,000 persons at 2 shillings a head.  There were neither troops nor police near the meeting (as they are on such occasions in England), and when the Liberator took his place as president of that truly national assembly, Tara of the Kings sent up a shout of welcome as those which heralded her princes of old.


Mr. O'Connell, amid a deathlike silence, said—

"It would be the extreme of affectation in me to suggest that I have not some claim to be the leader of this majestic meeting. It would be worse than affectation. It would be drivelling folly if I were not to feel the awful responsibility to my country and my Creator, which the part I have taken in the present mighty movement imposes on me. Yes, I feel the tremendous nature of that responsibility."

Ireland is roused from one end to the other. Her multitudinous population has but one expression and one wish, and that is for the extinction of the Union and the restoration of her nationality. (Cheers, and a cry of " No compromise.")  Who talks of compromise?  Here, on this important spot I protest, in the face of my country and my God, against the continuance of the Union. (Cheers)

My proposition is, that the Union is not binding on us in point of conscience; that it is void in principle, void as a matter of right, and void by constitutional law.  I am here to represent the Irish nation (cheers), and in the name of that great, virtuous, temperate, moral, brave, and religious nation, I proclaim the Union a nullity.  It was void by fraud and void by robbery.  The Irish had been saddled with a debt which was England's, and not theirs; and in the name of the Irish nation he now declared they never would pay a shilling more.  (Cheers, and cries of "Never, never.")

Compare Meath as it was before the Union, and as it is ; and Irish manufactures as they were, with what they are.  Ireland had always kept her promise, England never; and compared with Ireland, England was a living lie, and everybody was admitting it. The Duke of Wellington began by threatening war, but he talked of war no longer, and if he did, without meaning any disparagement to the Queen's army, which was the bravest in the world, he (Mr. O'Connell) had women enough to beat them if necessary.  (Cheers, and laughter.)  Let them remember the siege of Limerick.  (Cheers) He (Mr. O'Connell) hoped that there was a blessing in that day, and fully aware of its solemnity, he assured them that he was afraid of nothing but Ribandism, which alone could disturb the present movement.

When he called this the Repeal year on the 2nd of last January, every body laughed at him — but did they laugh now? (Cheers) — and before twelve months more should elapse their Parliament would be sitting in College-green.  (Renewed cheering) The Queen had only to issue her writs, and the Chancellor to seal them, and if Sugden refused, they'd soon find an Irishman who would not.  Let every man who feels resolved to die rather allow the Union to exist, hold up his hands!  (A forest of hands was reared)  If he wanted them again would they not again meet him at Tara. ("Yes," and cheers) On Monday next the dismissed magistrates would become arbitrators, and stand in the place of appeals to the petty sessions.

He next expressed his delight at presiding over such an assemblage on Tara Hill. (Cheers) Those shouts were enough to call to life the kings and chiefs of Ireland.  He almost fancied that the spirits of the mighty dead were hovering over them — that the ancient kings and chiefs of Ireland were listening to them from the clouds. (Cheers)  Mr. Mullen said the Duke of Wellington boasted of military preparations to preserve the peace.  All the soldiers in Ireland would not be sufficient to surround that meeting.  Resolutions were then agreed to, and after the usual votes the immense meeting quietly dispersed.  The banquet was given in an elegant pavilion, and 1,000 men sat down, while the galleries were filled with ladies.


Mr. O'Connell, on his health being proposed, said he must be a strange statesman who could look on at the sight they had seen and continue to scorn them.  Let them recollect the strength that lurks in a peasant's arm, and multiply it by 700,000, and then drivel on in expecting that might will always slumber amidst grievances continued, oppression endured too long, and the determination to allow them to cure themselves, and not take active measures to prevent the outbreak which, sooner or later, will be the consequence of the present afflicted state of Ireland?  (Hear, hear)  I say sooner or later, because I venture to assert, while I live myself, that outbreak will not take place.  (Hear) But sooner or later, they may weep their present apathy in tears of blood.

We are in a state of transition — that is certain; but transition to what?  To anarchy, confusion, and bloodshed?  Oh! it may be so if Englishmen make that damning choice?  A transition to tranquillity, to peace, to increased freedom, and augmenting prosperity?  Yes, if England or English statesmen have common sense, or a tinge even of common honesty.  (Hear, hear, hear) We are in a state of revolution, but it is a revolution to have the prerogative of the Crown unfettered, and to restore the privileges and augment the franchises of the Irish people.  That transition is what I call a revolution, full of loyalty to the throne — ready to preserve the Corinthian capitals of society — and to augment, maintain, and secure the liberties of the people.

He made a strong and earnest appeal to the gentry of Ireland — Whig and Tory, Catholic and Protestant — to join the movement now while he lived to control it, while the clergy headed to regulate, and while 30,000 English troops were at hand to prevent violence.  He would not beg, but he would accept, the aid of the great, of the Duke of Leinster, and of others.  Let them know, however, that the Irish people were determined to govern themselves.  They had the right, and they had shown the might, to do so; and when right and might met upon Tara-hill the day of joy was not far distant. (Cheers)  That mighty mass of human beings that but now darkened the hill had retired in peace, but let him summon them again to-morrow, tell them the Saxon was at the door, remind them of the butcheries of Cromwell, and the horrors of '98, and what would that mighty mass do then? (Hear, hear) Resolved to die rather allow the Union to exist, hold up his hands! (A forest of hands was reared)

The Lord Bishop of Meath, when his health was proposed, alluded to the strange effect produced upon his mind by worldly excitements after the retreat in which he had, with 117 of his clergy, been engaged for the last twelve days.  For them and for himself he could say that, after the strictest examination in that sacred and most trying time, they felt no touch of remorse or sorrow from their share in the Repeal movement.  (Hear) He complained that the Whigs had refused his application to have the duty on the materials of his church abated, in consideration of the extra services for the military, and the Tories sent the men in arms to a church for which Government had never contributed one farthing. After an eloquent speech from Father Reilly, who repudiated the purchase of the priests by the Tories, the meeting adjourned.

The Tablet, 19 Aug 1843 ~ In the course of a Repeal Meeting:

Mr. O'Connell pointed out on a map of Meath, the effects of the Union, in the abandonment, ruin, or desertion of the seats of Abbotstown, Dunboyne Castle, Summer Hill House, the Castle of the Wellesleys at Dangan, Trimblestone Castle, Clifton Lodge, Headford House, Stackallan House, Slane Castle, Duleek House, Dollardstown, and Ardsalla House, Killeen Castle, Kilbrew, Kilrue, the Mansion of the Meredyths, and Brackenstown.  Lordly and rich families filled these places before the Union, and would again if that act were repealed.  It was so with the fairs, markets, mills, and manufactories — all at rest and all silent.  What Meath man would, after this, support the Union? (Cheers)

Riocht na Midhe, 2015, p.168 ref. 10 ~ Repeal of the Union meeting in Tara in 1843

Fr. Peter Everard (1829-1915) a native of Navan.  In 1893 was moved from Nobber to Ratoath.  A man of rare culture - as an amateur painter he acquired considerable skill; he was also a talented musician who played the violin and as a youth joined the Navan Repeal band which consisted of about forty instrumentalists and was with them at the Great Repeal meeting in Tara in 1843.


The Tablet, 8 June 1844 ~ Repeal

NAVAN —On Sunday, in pursuance of a requisition signed by all the Liberal and enlightened inhabitants of this parish, and headed by the venerable pastor, the Very Rev. Dr. O'Reilly, and the Rev. Messrs. Keally, Lynch, Jones, Power, Flinn, Horan, O'Connell, &c., nearly 10,000 of the inhabitants of Navan and the surrounding parishes attended; and never did we witness, even in the proudest days of the "monster meetings," more enthusiasm, nor more orderly conduct.  The platform was crowded by all the respectable inhabitants of the town.  The chair was taken by the Rev. Eugene O'Reilly, amid the most enthusiastic cheers.  Resolutions were adopted expressive of sympathy with the imprisoned patriots, and of indignant protest against the injustice of which they had been victims.  An address was also adopted, and on the platform a sum of 60 shillings was subscribed as prison money — the contributions of several of the gentlemen being in addition to the sums already given towards the repeal fund for 1844. — Pilot.

6 July 1844 ~ The Repeal Test

Mr. Corbally MP has addressed a letter to a Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Mr. O’Reilly, in reply to some resolutions agreed to by 14 electors of the county Meath living at Navan, in the course of which he emphatically observes -

“You ask one if justice has been done to Ireland ? I say no - far from it; but still I am not prepared to become a repealer, because I am still impressed with the conviction that the more I see of the movement the more I am strengthened in my opinion that the practicability of the repeal of the Union is a delusion, and that even if it were possible to carry it, it would fall short in its results, of the good which I know you, sir, in common with such vast numbers, anticipate would be derived from it. And I will also add – and this is not only my opinion, but also that of several intelligent men in parliament, real friends of Ireland, I believe, with whom I have conversed on the subject – that the agitation of this question has done great mischief to the country prestrated the liberal party in Ireland, by causing such divisions amongst its representatives as hinder them from holding that position in a British House of Commons which would enforce from any Ministry justice to our unhappy country.”

Notwithstanding this manly declaration of his sympathies Mr. Corbally need have no apprehension of its consequences, as far as his seat in Parliament is concerned.  The constituency of Meath is now well nigh balanced between the two parties, and it is, at all events, within the reach of the Conservative electors to exclude a second Henry Grattan from the representation.

14 Sept 1844 ~ The Feast of the Martyrs

Feasts appear likely to be the first shape in which the renewed agitation will show its strength.  In pursuance of a resolution agreed at a meeting held yesterday in Navan, a deputation consisting of Mr. N. Boylan, ex-justice of peace of Hilltown, Mr. Langan and ten other gentlemen from the county of Meath, arrived in town to-day for the purpose of inviting Mr. O’Connell to a public banquet at Kells, as soon as the learned gentleman can make it his convenience to attend it.

19 May1845 ~ Monster Repeal Meeting at Tara

Precisely as it was anticipated, the forthcoming gathering at “Tara of the Kings” will in nowise fall short of the prodigious demonstration of physical force which took place there in the fever heat of the agitation two years since.  It is now officially announced that Mr. O’Connell will commence the day’s proceedings by attending a mass, which is to be celebrated in the open air - a stimulant successfully applied in 1843, for the purpose of giving a religious tone to the movement, as well as to impress upon the peasantry more distinctly the fact of the clergy being heart and soul embarked with the lay leaders in the seditious attempt to sever the connection between the two countries.  In order that the attendance at the ensuing demonstration may be as numerous as possible, ward meetings hold nightly sittings here, at which resolutions are adopted, the general purport of which, may be gathered from the following - ”Resolved, That we, the Repealers of the Post-office Ward, consider it a sacred duty we owe our country, and its Liberator to attend to the call of the patriotic men of Meath  to meet them on the Hill of Tara on the 22nd inst., to swell the procession that will accompany the great regenerator of his country to the banqueting hall at Navan.

The Times, 24 May 1845:

The Demonstration at Tara on Thursday, pursuant to announcement, a repeal demonstration took place on Tara-hill, which is about 20 miles distant from Dublin.  Mr. O’Connell, accompanied by Mr. Steele, Mr. Roy, and some other of his friends, arrived yesterday evening at Tara-hall, the residence of Mr. Lynch, where he remained for the night.  The programme of the proceedings include a gathering of “the masses” upon the rising ground, which is dignified with the name of Tara-hill, and a celebration of Mass afterwards.  Next, a procession from Tara to Navan, a distance of five miles; then a meeting in the Town hall of Navan, to petition for a repeal of the union; and, finally a dinner to the Repeal “martyrs” in a newly-erected building, stated to be capable of accommodating 1,000 persons.

The preparations for the meeting on the hill were of the simplest character.  An altar, of rude construction, screened by a canvas awning, was placed on the conical mound which surmounts the hill, and at a short distance from it a few tents were pitched, in which refreshments were furnished to “man and beast”.  Shortly after 12 o’clock Mr. O’Connell, accompanied by several friends, some of whom wore the uniform of the ’82 club, arrived upon the hill, and was, of course, received by the crowd with great cheering.  Having taken up his station near the altar, the celebration of mass was immediately proceeded with, the Rev. Mr. M’Evoy, of Kells, being the officiating priest.  At the conclusion of the service the Rev gentleman addressed his congregation briefly, exhorting them to behave in an orderly manner during the day, and advising them to give into the custody of the police any person whom they might find selling or distributing seditious ballads or placards.

The number of persons assembled for the purpose of hearing amounted to about 5,000, and there was probably about half that number scattered about in the neighbourhood.  The number of horsemen was likewise very limited, and there was scarcely a vehicle on the ground of a class superior to the common farmer’s cart.  Contrasted with the monster meeting last year at the same place, the demonstration of to-day was a signal failure.  At the former meeting the cars and carriages in attendance extended upwards of two miles in double and treble lines on the Dublin road; but to-day the by road leading to the hill sufficed to contain the vehicles which joined the procession.  Indeed, at the monster meeting there were nearly as many horses as there were men at the meeting of to-day.  Immediately subsequent to the termination of mass a procession was formed, consisting chiefly of the peasantry of the adjoining towns of Kells, Navan, Slane, Dunshaughlin etc., the people from each locality being headed by the temperance band of the district.  Mr. O’Connell, about 2’oclock, joined the procession, which then moved rapidly towards Navan where the meeting was announced to take place at that hour.

There was neither military nor police in attendance, and the proceedings on the hill, which were devoid of any feature of interest, passed off in the most quiet manner.

It was stated in placards posted near Tara that 700 persons had signified their intention of being present at the dinner in Navan.

The Times, 26 April 1845:

The “Grand Navan Demonstration” appears to have been by no means so alarming an affair as 1843.  Neither the order, the equipments nor the language, was so warlike.  As to the numbers, there is the usual difficulty inherent in all Irish affairs.  The Freema's Journal says that 50,000 persons assisted at mass with Mr. O’Connell on Tara-hill; and that from the valleys of the Boyne and the walls of Navan 200,000 poured out their welcome to the Liberator.  We believe the right way of dealing with Irish figures is to strike out the last.

The banquet in the evening was given in a pavilion erected for the occasion.  Tickets are stated to have been issued for 820 persons but no mention is made of the actual numbers who sat down to dinner.  With the exception of Bishop Cantwell, who has thus practically hurled his defence at Archbishop Crolly and the Papal prescript, the Freeman omits the names of the guests.  The apologies, were of course, exceedingly numerous, and it would appear from the list read by the secretary that the hierarchical invitations were confined to Archbishop M’Hale alone, Dr. Cantwell having from the start signified his intention of gracing the feast with his presence.

An ex-Justice of the Peace, Mr. Nicholas Boylan, an extensive grazier, presided as chairman, and the preliminary toasts having been got rid of “the health of Daniel O’Connell and the Legislative Independence of Ireland” was proposed with a suitable flourish.

Note: Daniel O’Connell spoke before and after the banquet which is reported word for word including many interruptions for “hear hear” and “cheers”.  Bishop Cantwell’s speech is also reported word for word and shows that he agreed with O’Connell and the Repeal campaign.

The Tablet, 24 May 1845 ~ TARA AND NAVAN

The LIBERATOR wished to make a single observation in reference to the demonstration that was about to take place in the county Meath, and, indeed, in reference to future Repeal demonstrations in general.  It was, doubtless, in the remembrance of the Association that during the " trials" (as they were called) of the " convicted conspirators," some placards and handbills were given in evidence, which some witnesses connected with the constabulary force alleged on their oaths to have been sold at the meeting at Mullaghmast.  He confessed he was beginning to be cautious about matters of this kind; and, in order to prevent misapprehension, and to evade any machinations that might be contrived by their enemies, he thought it right to declare publicly, that no one was authorised on the part of the Repeal Association to sell or distribute any placard, song, handbill, or document of any description whatever, at the Navan meeting, or any other meeting hereafter to be held under the auspices of the Association.  (Hear, hear) There would be no speaking at Tara on Thursday next. He (the Liberator) and his friends would be at Tara on Thursday — they would hear Mass there, and from that spot the procession would form by which he was to be accompanied to Navan, where a petition to the House of Commons would be prepared in favour of Repeal, but there would be no speaking at Tara.  (Hear) He begged leave to move that the Repeal wardens of Navan be called upon to exert themselves as zealously as possible to prevent the distribution of any placard, song, handbill, or other document of what description soever, at Navan, on Thursday next.

The Head Pacificator seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. 28th May1845.

16 March 1846 ~ Repeal Association Meeting

Mr. O’Connell said that in the town of Navan, which was formerly the centre of discordant party feeing, all the Protestants decorated their houses on the recent occasion, and accordingly the Repeal bands proceeded up the street, playing the tune of “Protestants Boys” (cheers).  When the rest of Ireland were like Navan they would have their little Parliament in College-green. (cheers)

16 March 1846 ~ Progress of Repeal

A meeting is to be held this month in Navan for the purpose of adopting measures to oust Mr. Corbally - the ultra whig and Roman Catholic – from the representation of Meath, in conquence of the Hon. gentleman declining to connect himself with the “Liberators” “darling project”- the insane humbug of repeal.  Mr. Henry Grattan, the “Protestant” Repealer, par excellence, will as a matter of course, return his seat under letters patent from Conciliation hall.

The Tablet, 1 May 1847 ~

Mr. Quigly then read a letter from the members of the Repeal Rooms at Navan, Co. Meath, excusing their seeming want of co-operation by forwarding subscriptions, and begging it might be attributed to its true cause — the dire distress — and not to any relaxation of spirit or earnestness in the cause of Repeal. Various sums were handed in, and votes of thanks passed.


Riocht na Midhe, 2013: The Nicholas Boylan Silver Salver: an Icon of Repeal

This relates to the Repeal meetings of 1842 and 1843.

Riocht na Midhe, pp 88-89: more about Bishop Cantwell, Rev McEvoy and Captain Despard.