Main content

Title: Crommelin Irwin, Newgrove, Ireland, to editor of the Record
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileIrwin, Crommelin/42
SenderIrwin, Crommelin
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginNewgrove, Munster?, Ireland
Recipientthe editor of The Record
Recipient Gendermale
RelationshipIrwin writes to a newspaper about Orangism
SourceThe Belfast News-Letter, Monday, 10 January, 1870
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast
Doc. No.201128
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, Td by Stephen Perrott, 07:01
Word Count522


SIR - I was much surprised to read the following
remarks in your paper of the 15th inst. After noticing
the land question in the opening of your issue, you say:-
"The destruction of the Irish Church has not only
alienated the North of Ireland from the Government and
Mr. Gladstone, but has made the Orangemen become passive
co-operators with the Fenians in their schemes for the
overthrow of all authority in Ireland. This is a grave
fact, and it is all the more serious because its gravity
has not yet been fully perceived."
It is most unfair to charge the Orangemen of
Ireland with passive co-operation with Fenianism. The
Fenian movements are in every way oppossed to the spirit
of Orangeism. You found your opinion on the statements
that were made at the Dublin meeting the other day, but
you misunderstand the case - Orangemen have no objection
to the return of Rossa, not that they approve of his
political opinions, much less of his Fenian tactics, but
because that return proves, more than anything else could
have done, the position that the Gladstone Government has
brought our unfortunate country into. An extract from a
speech of Mr. Wm. Johnston, M.P., on this point, delivered
in Belfast on the 24th inst. at the Orange Hall, as
reported in the News-Letter of that date, will explain to
you what I believe to be the opinion of Orangemen generally
on this head:-
"The welfare of the Orange Institution, and its
extension and progress, I am certain is the object you all
have most at heart, as the means of maintaining the
Protestant cause, the upholding of the Legislative Union
between Great Britain and Ireland, and the maintaining of
her Majesty's sovereignty over that grand old British
Empire that Popes and Cardinals would be glad to see
humbled in the dust, but that, whilst Protestantism
prevails in it, Gold helping us, shall never be the case;
and, entertaining these views, I feel that, while the
Government acts in hostility to the Orangemen of Ireland,
it is no part of our duty to draw a sword or fire a shot
between them and the Fenians. It is our duty to stand and
maintain our own cause, for we are not called to go after
the Orange flag in the battle-field in defence of a
Government that despises us, illtreats us, and perhaps
would like to use us, if they could get us to do their
dirty work of spies and panderers - a work that the
Orangemen of Ireland will never lend themselves to."
These remarks don't show that the Orangemen of
Ireland are "passive co-operators with the Fenians in
their schemes for the overthrow of all authority in
Ireland - and England as well - may be thankful
that they have such a goodly band of faithful men to both
law and order as the Orange body. Had successive
Governments shown fair play to the Protestant party, and
not thrown cold water on them for the purpose of catching
the Papist vote, this country would not be torn to pieces
as it is.

Newgrove, Ireland, Dec. 29. 1869.
[The words of which our correspondent complains were
distinctly marked as a quotation from a contemporary.
- ED. Record]

(Transcribed by Stephen Perrott)