Public Demonstration of Sympathy at Manchester – 18671201

The Manchester Fenians Public Demonstration of Sympathy Yesterday A demonstration of sympathy for the three men Allen, O’Brien, and Larken [sic], who were executed last Saturday week at Manchester for the murder of Constable Brett, took place yesterday in this city. It took the form of a funeral procession, with the usual accompaniments of a bier, though there was no dead body to be borne on it, and crape and scarfs and hat bands, with green ribbons. Ever since it was known on Friday that the authorities would not prevent the display for the deceased men, the trade done in these articles was enormous, and where all the green ribbons that yesterday fluttered from the polls of women and the button holes of men came from, or how on short notice the dealers here in such a commodity could supply such a quantity, must be a mystery to all save the initiated. The only solution that any outsider could come to is that they had been specially ordered days before for the occasion. They appeared in every shade of the colour from the lightest to the darkest, and in every conceivable form. Some were real streamers, as long as a man-of-war’s pennant, while others were worked into pretty rosettes which with a small admixture of mourning ribbon, looked very well on the wearers. Crape was very generally worn with the green – indeed, it may be said that every one of the several thousand who joined in the procession had either one or other, but the predominating colour was the green. Stalwart men and tiny children had their share of it flying from their coats or round their caps, bu the show of it by their fair sisters threw them altogether into the shade. If ever the green was really “worn” it was by them yesterday, many of them appearing absolutely enveloped in it; while the young boys wore in addition to ribbons green neckties. The desire of all seemed to be to show either excessive grief by a profession of crape, or strong nationality by a similar quantity of green. The procession, though large, could hardly have been as much so as was expected. It did not come within many thousands of the celebrated M’Manus funeral, but such as it was it gave a  very good indication of the strength of the Fenian force as well feminine as masculine in this city and district. By those who are accustomed to compute numbers the processionists comprised about 6,000 persons – 4,000 men and 2,000 women, girls and boys, but the lookers on all through the route could not have been less than once and a half as many. Where narrow ways were passed through the roads and footpaths were entirely occupied, but in the wider thoroughfares this was not at all so. A feature in the whole occurrrence was, that from the beginning to the end of the procession not one man of any position here or anywhere else was to be seen in it. It was solely comprised of traders and tradesmen, clerks, and assistants in large houses, with the women and boys. All assembled in the neighbourhood of the Mercy Hospital between 1 and 2 o’clock, and shortly after the latter hour the procession began to move. It was headed by a fife and drum band, playing the Dead March in Saul, and then came the boys of different schools, followed by “the ladies.” Three other bands, two brass and the third a fife, were place at intervals in the procession and played alternately the Dead March and the Adeste Fideles. In front and in rear of the bier walked the trades and the general public, all four deep. The bier itself was drawn by six horses draped in black velvet, and surmounting the catafalque was a structure in the form of a parallelogram covered with black cloth and having on the sides white calico with the names of the three culprits printed in large black letters – Michael O’Brien, Michael Larkin, and William P. Allen. Immediately after the bier there came three carriages, one containing the sister and some other relatives of Allen; the second O’Brien’s brother and a few relations, but the third, which was intended for Larkin’s friends, appeared unoccupied. After starting from Mercy Hospital the procession took the following route – through Henry-street, Duncan-street, Great George’s-street, North Main-street, Pope’s Quay, Patrick-street, Grand Parade, South Mall, Anglesea and Infirmary Roads, Summer Hill South and on to the Botanic Gardens. From several windows in some of the streets crape and green ribbons hung, showing their occupants’ sympathy with the proceeding; and some of the shipping had their flags at half-mast. At about 5 o’clock the head of the procession reached the Cemetery, and all who could get in gathered round the tomb of the late Father Mathew. The crush here was very great, but every body seemed willing to put up with the inconvenience. As a favour the ladies were allowed to occupy the foremost places, and the men were all thrown back. When order was completely established Mr. O’Crowley, tin plate worker, Coat-quay, got on a stool and addressed the crowd as “fellow countrymen and women.” He mentioned that they all knew what they had assembled for, which was to do a very proper act. (Hear, hear.) He then called on the men to uncover while the burial service was read for the three men “who were murdered at Manchester.” This met with a wild shriek, which Mr. O’Crowley instantly suppressed, observing that such was neither honourable to the dead nor creditable to the living. The prayers were then by the light of a “lantern dimly burning” read by him, and the responses were generally joined in by those around. Afterwards he again addressed the people, and on the part of the committee returned their most sincere thanks to all who had taken part in the demonstration and for their exemplary demeanour. Every man, woman and child, he said, felt the part they took and acted it in a manner that did honour to their country and to the cause at stake. No man could sneer at them or the manner in which they had conducted themselves, and he hoped that the day would close as it had begun and gone on; that all would quietly return to their homes and not enter public-houses, so that no one the next day could say that they disgraced themselves or turned their proceeding into a mockery. (Hear, hear,) It was no mockery – it was no farce. (Hear, hear.) It was true they had not got there the ashes of the three dead men – they were within the walls of an English gaol mixed with lime (hear, and groans); but notwithstanding, prison bars could not bind them, and if justice was denied them on earth there was a good God in heaven. (Hear.) He again thanked all, on behalf of the committee, for the part they took, but particularly the ladies, who he said, had done their duty nobly and were worthy of Cork. (Cheers.) He next spoke of the “murdered men,” and said that several relatives and friends of theirs were present. The men were happy, but their friends were miserable. However, they all knew that they died innocent and in a good cause. (Hear and cheers.) Mr. O’Crowley then asked as a special favour to “the ladies,” to whom the committee returned their special thanks, that they might be allowed to take their departure first, as they must have been greatly inconvenienced during the day. This was rigidly carried out, not a man scarcely stirring until the women had got outside the gate. The proceedings then ended. It is scarcely necessary to add that there was no burial. The day was an exceedingly unpleasant one, a fierce, biting north wind prevailing throughout, accompanied at times by smart showers of rain. Several umbrellas were turned inside out and dozens of hats blown off during the route; but everyone bore up well under the severity of the weather, and as regards the procession it may be fairly said that a more orderly one never took place in this or any other city. The spectators were for the most part congregated in Great George’s-street, Patrick-street, on the Grand Parade and the South Mall, all wide thoroughfares, where there was an abundance of room. During the passing of the procession along them there was never anything like a crush. The Mayor and magistrates of the city held a meeting on Saturday for the purpose of taking steps to prevent a breach of the peace should such occur in consequence of the procession. The meeting feeling itself not empowered to prevent the demonstration, came to the conclusion of using whatever measures lay with them to preserve public tranquility. They resolved on keeping the public-houses closed from Saturday night to Monday morning, and issued a proclamation to that effect. The police were confined to their barracks last night, and were under arms. On Saturday a reinforcement of twenty men under the command of Sub-Inspector O’Brien, arrived here from the Depot, Dublin, and were dispersed through the various stations in the city. A body of three hundred men of the 6th Regt. came by train from Fermoy on the same day, and two companies of them were drafted to Elizabeth Fort. Yesterday the military were confined to barracks. Mr. Hamilton, R. M., went to Dublin on Friday evening on a telegram from the Castle, but returned on Saturday. During the last evening and night the city was perfectly quiet. The streets were all but deserted, every one of the processionists having apparently gone to his or her home. Public demonstrations of sympathy yesterday - Cork Constitution18671202 Cork Constitution, December 2, 1867