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The Butlers of County Clare by Sir Henry Blackall


Appendix XI: Catholic Emancipation


1808 Meetings in support of Catholic Claims
On Feb. 13th 1808 a meeting of the Roman Catholics of Clare was held in the Courthouse, Ennis, William Butler esquire of Bunnahow being in the chair. A series of resolutions were adopted renewing application to Parliament on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland for the restoration of this body to an equality of political Rights and immunities with their Protestant fellow-subjects, and directing that copies of the resolution be forwarded to the Members for the County, Sir Edward O’Brien and Hon. F. N. Burton, and the member for the borough Rt. Hon. James Fitzgerald. (Extract from Clare Journal in Clare Record, Dec. 1908 “Clare 100 years ago”).

Again, in April of the same year a meeting of the Protestant gentry of the County was held at the Courthouse, Ennis, under the chairmanship of Mr. Donat O’Brien, M.P., demanding the removal of disabilities of Catholics.

Immediately after the above, a meeting was held of Roman Catholics “not inferior in numbers or respectability to the former,” Mr. William Butler of Bunnahow being in the chair. An eloquent speech was delivered by Counsellor O’Gorman, and resolutions were passed thanking the Protestant gentlemen of Clare for their action. (Extract from Clare Journal ib.)


1816 Sir Henry Parnell to William Butler I
                                                          Emo Park,
                                                                         December 11th, 1815.
I had not the honour of receiving your letter of the 24th of September enclosing the thanks of Catholics of the County of Clare for my conduct in Parliament till a long time after it was written, in consequence of my absence on the Continent, or I should have acknowledged the receipt of it at an earlier period.

I feel particularly gratified by the very marked and favourable manner in which the approbation of my endeavours to secure the Catholic cause is expressed and I trust that, notwithstanding the many circumstances which rendered it extremely difficult to conduct it with advantage at the time when it was confided to my hands, a steady perseverance in bringing it under the discussion of Parliament will result in its being soon rewarded with complete success.
          I have, etc
                          H. Parnell

To William Butler, Esq.,
          Bunnahow, near Gort.

Note: The writer of the above letter was Sir Henry Parnell, 2nd Bart., uncle of Charles Stewart Parnell. It relates to a petition from 6,000 Catholics in England praying for unrestricted Emancipation. The petition was presented by Sir H. Parnell in the House of Commons on 30 July 1815. In the debate that followed, Henry Grattan said he would vote for going into Committee but would not pledge himself to support all the resolutions exhibited by his hon. friend. - He went on to say that the annexation of no conditions must render the grant impossible, and that he told the Catholic body that unless they adopted a spirit of conciliation they would never succeed. The motion for going into Committee was lost by 228 votes to 147. From the time of this speech, Grattan’s influence with the moving spirits of the Emancipation movement in Ireland began to wane, and he was gradually supplanted by O’Connell, to whom Parnell gave his support.


Appendix X: Abstracts of
Wills and Administrations


Appendix XII: Reversal of
Outlawries of Two Lords Dunboyne