[PARNELL] ‘A DESPERATE AND UNSCRUPULOUS MAN’Sullivan, (T.D.) A very good ALS to M. E. Manning, on House of Commons notepaper, dated 27 April 1891, 4 pp, responding to an enquiry the details of which are not given, and continuing with a remarkable attack on Parnell and his supporters in the Irish Party. ‘I am glad to learn that you have not gone with the party that I, in my heart and soul, and according to my most deliberate judgement, believe to be now engaged, at the bi
dding of a desperate and unscrupulous man, in laying the Home Rule movement in ruins ..Many of those who are taking an active Part in that work don’t kn
ow what they are doing. Some of them I know to be well-meaning men; and of this class I know more than one or two in Waterford. From my heart I mourn for them. Th
ey ought to have better sense .. It is all very well for Mr.
Parnell to allege that he is perfectly willing to face “three or four, or a half a dozen more campaigns”, and that we will be all the better for them in the end. He will not want for bit or sup, or a roof to shelter him, or luxuries or amusements of any kind in the mean time; but for thousands of our people the results will be very different; and as for the national cause, its prospects will look about as bright after another seven years of tory rule as they did after the battle of Aughrim ..’
With a good signature, as a m/ss., w.a.f.
T.D. Sullivan, MP for Dublin at this time, was an Irish Party member until he broke with Parnell. A journalist and writer, associated with the ‘Nation’, he composed many well-known songs including ‘God Save Ireland’. (1)More details ›
O’Connell (Daniel) An interesting manuscript Letter to Sir Benjamin Wall of Waterford, 28 Nov. 1845, the text in a secretarial hand but signed by O’Connell himself, 2pp with cognate address leaf, postal stamp and markings, seal removed. A few small tears, no loss of text.
O’Connell explains that although he is going to Waterford, he connot acept Sir Benjamin’s kind invitation as “I must while in Waterford live in a kind of judicial privacy – I have already announced to the parties litigant that I would not accept any invitation whilst in town on the disagreeable business that carries me there.” An intriguing item. (1)More details ›
Plunkett Family An A.L.S., dated 20 Nov. 1928 to (Edmund) Downey from Seoirse O Pluingceid (ie. George Plunkett the younger) thankin him for his kindness to Plunkett’s father. ‘I regard my father’s sojourn in your house in Ballycarney as responsible for his present excellent improvement’.
With an authograph signednote from G.N. Count Plunkett, 20 August 1924, to The Editor, Green & Gold. (ie. Ed. Downey), concerning proofs of a poem, as a m/ss., w.a.f. (2)More details ›
Pearse (Margaret, sister of Padraig) A good A.L.S. to (Edmund) Downey, 26.8.25, thanking him for ‘your kind co-operation in publishing our recent scheme of scholarships,’ and enclsoing ‘a short account of our most recent success’ (not present), for publication at his earliest convenience. On Sgoil Eanna (St. Enda’s) headed notepaper, 1pp., as a m/ss., w.a.f.
* Ed. Downey was Editor of the Waterford News. Margaret Pearse ran St. Enda’s after her brother’s death. (1)More details ›
Concannon (Helena) of Galway. An A.L.S., 1pp, 4.9.31, to (Edmund) Downey, mentioning a pamphlet by Canon Fleming about the origins of St. Patrick, which she has not read, and discussing her own views. Minor tears (no loss), a little soiled, as a manuscript.
Ed. Downey was Editor of the Waterford News; he may have asked her to review or comment on Canon Fleming’s pamphlet. (1)More details ›
Ohuiginn (Brian) An A.L.S. to ‘Waterford News Ltd.’ dated 4.9.24, on headed notepaper of his magazine ‘Irish Fun,’ responding to previous correspondence concerning a Mr. Murphy, with a good signature; with a second A.L.S. on his personal headed paper, 4.12.26, to (Edmund) Downey, enclosing a letter from Florida which may interest him, as a manuscript. (2)More details ›
Figgis (Millie, wife of Darrell Figgis) An A.L.S. to Edmund Downey, Nov. 22, 1918, 2pp (single sheet), replying on behalf of her husband during his ‘enforced absence’ (he was arested as part of the ‘German Plot’ round-up), and discussing the arrest of Bob brennan (Director of Elections). ‘It appears to me that the B(ritish) G(overment) is out to upset our political machinery. If this is in view they are hardly likely to release our men who would more than repair his loss, to say nothing of the heightened enthusiasm which would result,’ etc, as a manuscript. (1)More details ›
Roger Casement and the “German Plot”
Twelve pages of manuscript notes in an unidentified hand, on assorted paper, concerning Casement’s attempted arms landing at Fenit, Capt. Robert Monteith, Austin Stack and the Tralee Volunteers, etc., possibly intended as a drat of a newspaper article or letter, as a manuscript. (1)More details ›
Famous Journalist and Forger
Pigott (Richard). A short autograph signed letter to Dr. (George) S(igerson), dated Dec. 18, 1871, about publication deadlines for a Christmas Week edition (of his paper “The Irishman” to which Dr. Sigerson was a regular contributor). “Are you ever coming home? I wish to heaven you came back. The paper is going to the devil: if something is not done and speedily, there will be an end of The Irishman.” 1pp. with cognate blank, addressed from “Irishman Office”. As a m/ss., w.a.f.
* Richard Pigott was initially an extreme nationalist, whose papers openly supported the Fenians, and was several times imprisoned for sedition. He was improvident and was often in financial trouble, and in the late 1880’s he sold forged material implicating Parnell in the Phoenix Park Murders to a loyalist group, which passed it on to the “Times”. In the ensuing enquiry he broke down under cross-examination and confessed his guilt. He fled to Madrid, but finally shot himself (possibly slit his own throat) when a police inspector entered his room. (1)More details ›
“The Ross Circular”
Reward Notice: A printed notice offering a reward for information about ‘murders and outrages’ committed by ‘those who call themselves Members of the irish Republican Army,” and sugesting a means whereby information can be submitted by persons without identifying themselves. Marked in mansucript, ‘ being distributed around town,’ from the files of Edmund Downey of the Waterford News. With a related envelope. (1)More details ›
Smithson (Annie) A remarkable Manuscript Account, 5pp roolscap, entitled ‘Ditto to de Valera: a few Impressions of the Manison House Meeting,’ and signed by her at end of last page.
This was the first public meeting addressed by de Valera after his release from prison, July 1924, and she gives a detailed and emotional account of waiting with a packed crowd to hear de Valera speak. He was a little late in coming, and we had two false alarms, the people springing to their feet and beginning to cheer, only to find that he had not yet arrived. But at last he did come – walking up the centre of the great round where his guard of honour was drawn up and followed by those riends whose names are dear to all our hearts. Words couldot paint that scene – it was one that can never be forgotten. Cheer after cheer rent the air, the very roof shook with the soundof that welcome.. and then came the same beloved, golden voice, thesame sane, reasoned words – such a contract to the “Go home and comb your hair” style of oratory with which His Majesty’s Ministers in this country have made us familiar… He must have spokenfor about forty minutes – it did notseem five. And this inspite of the terrible head and discomfort of the overcrowded room. All such petty details were forotten in the great joy of the moment..”, as a manuscript.
* Annie Smithson, the novelist, served as a nurse during the War of Independence. She took the anti-treaty side. (1)More details ›
“An Honourable Agreement Has Been Achieved”
A page of manuscript notes, unsigned, in an unidentified hand, dated 20 May 1922, including several names including Monsignor Power, Commadt. Whelan & others, and the words “An honourable agreement has been achieved.”
In view of the date, this may refer to the “Fact” between pro- and anti-treaty groups, negotiated the Sinn Fein Ardfheis around this time. (1)More details ›
O’Brien (William) An A.L.S. on his headed paper, 2pp (single folded sheet), dated Oct. 8, 1923, to (Edmund) Downey of the Waterford News, discussing a person (illegibly names) sent to penal servitude for forgery. “The object of my paper was toshow, on his own submission, how treacherous he had been to Parnell and the Irish Party. he was in fact the sole author of the Parnell Split; yet, for some extraordinary reason, all evidence on the subject has been rigidly boycotted by the irish Press, and there seems little chance of the country ever understanding the truth of the matter,” etc, as a manuscript. (1)More details ›
Devlin (Jospeh, Irish Party MP), A T.L.S., 1pp, 29 April 1912, to (Edmund) Downey of the Waterford News, apologising for “the treatment that was accorded to your son,” who apparently was not given appropriate press seating at a meetin. With a good signature. (1)More details ›
MacBride (Maud Gonne) A good A.L.S., undated to (Edmund) Downey of the Waterford News, asking him to publish an Appeal for funds for a Political Prisoners Committee, “to enable the tortured prisoners who refuse to sign the document preventin them seeking redress before the ordinary courts to get their cases heard.” Undated, probably 1923-24, a little soiled, with a good signature, as a manuscript. (1)More details ›
Fianna Fail Victory Party, 1933
Mac Bride (Maud Gonne) A very interesting A.L.s. on notepaper of Women’s Prisoner’s Defence League, 1 Feb. (19)33, asking the recipient to see to it that the League members ‘who worked so hard for your election and for Fianna Fail in Dublin during the election get tickets for the Victory Party which we hear is going to be given in the Mansion House shortly,’ and naming several of those involved. Evidently the recipient was a senior elected member of Fianna Fail. One page only, with a good clear signature. As a m/ss., w.a.f.
* Important and interesting as confirmation that Republicans from outside the party worked for Fianna Fail in the 1933 election – the first in which the party won an overall Dail majority. Maud Gonne was not a Fianna Fail member, so far as is known, and her son Sean Mac Bride was at this time active in the IRA and its political offshoots. (1)More details ›
Little (Patrick J.)T.D. An interesting autograph signed letter, 2pp, 23 Aug. 1927, on notepaper of his solicitor’s practice, defending thedecision by Fianna Fail TDs to enter Dail Eireann and ‘sign the book’. ‘We put it up to the F.S. people to insist that the formula was an oath of allegiance – and they should i they took it seriously have thrown us out, but they did not. My own attitude was if this clause is an empty formula we walk in, if not the onusis you to throw us out. Apart from the unpleasantness of having even to appear to submit – we have won a real victory..’ as a manuscript. (1)More details ›
Griffith (A.) An original black and white oblong full length Photograph of Arthur Griffith in formal attire and hat, taken by J. Cashman, 21 Capel Street, Dublin stamp on reverese with manuscript inscription, approx. 6 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, good; together with a Memorial Card with photograph for A. Griffith, In Loving Memory… who died .. on 12th August, 1922, previously pasted down, otherwise good example. (2)More details ›
Grattan Flood (W.A.) An A.L.S. dated 21 April 1914, 3pp (folded sheet) to (Edmund) Downey of Waterford, thanking him for having something bound for him, discussing various points of Waterford family history, etc.; with a second autograph signed note dated 14.4.1924, congratulating him on winning his case: “It was a clear case of arson,” and enclosing a letter for publication, as a manuscript. (2)More details ›
Seanan (Brother, O.S.F.C.) An autograph signed Letter on Capuchin headed paper, 10.5.24, 3pp (single sheet), enquiring about terms for printing a book on Irish Music by the later Dr. Henebry, about 280pp, with music and charts, as a manuscript. (1)More details ›