Statement adopted at a General Meeting of the Irish Confederation, held at Music Hall, Dublin, June 6, 1848, F. Morgan presiding.

Let those who would learn the true value of British institutions in Ireland read and digest the following facts:—

JOHN MITCHEL, an open and powerful enemy of British Government in Ireland, being put upon his trial for inciting his fellow-countrymen to resist, and eradicate that Government, has been convicted of that offence, and transported for fourteen years.

His holy hatred of British tyranny being manifestly shared in by an overwhelming majority of the citizens of Dublin, it became necessary for the servants of the Government to exercise extreme case that none but AN ENEMY OF HIS PRINCIPLES should be found upon his jury.

With that view, there was a panel or list of HOSTILE JURORS carefully selected from the jurors’ book by the sheriff, who is an officer appointed by the Government.

That the sheriff selected chiefly the names of persons hostile to the prisoner, from the jurors’ book, is evidenced by the following facts:—

Before Mr. Mitchel’s arrest, and therefore before the sheriff knew that he would be tried at the late commission, several jurors had been summoned to serve at that commission. Several of those who had been thus summoned, previous to the arrest, did not afterward appear on the panel. Mr. Mitchel was arrested on the 13th. Two persons swore at the trial that they had been summoned as jurors, one on the 11th, the other on the 13th, and produced the summonses, signed by the sheriff’s officer. On reference to the panel, it was found that their names had been omitted. THEY WERE BOTH ROMAN CATHOLICS. From this fact, it is plain that the sheriff changed the panel subsequently to the arrest.

The purpose for which he made that change is evident from the panel itself, as compared with the general list of jurors from which it was selected.

That list (which is called the ‘Jurors’ Book’) contains, in all, 4,570 names; of which number 2,935 are Catholics, and 1,635 are Protestants.

Out of this list the sheriff selected 150 persons to serve as jurors at the commission, and among those 150 there were only 28 Catholics.

On the Jurors’ Book there are nearly TWO Catholics to ONE Protestant.

On the panel selected from that book there is not ONE Catholic for every FOUR Protestants.

If further evidence were wanting of the sheriff’s GUILT, the position which the Catholics hold upon the panel would supply that evidence.

Among the first 28 names there appears but one Catholic, viz., Mr. Nicholas Wash, of 42 Lower Sackville street; and it is notorious of him that he always declined to attend when summoned as a juror.

Among the first eighty names, there are, in all, only eight Catholics.

All the remaining Catholics, amounting to twenty, were distributed among the last seventy names.

The sheriff, no doubt, calculated that the jury would probably be formed out of the first 28 names, among which there was only ONE Catholic, who never served; or, if not, that it would certainly be formed out of the first eighty, so that at the worst there would be ten chances to one that NO Catholic would turn up on the jury.

One fact is worthy of remark. There are two gentlemen of the name of Moore on the panel. They are both silk mercers, both residing in the same street, and almost next-door neighbours, one living at 24, the other at 26, Dame-street. One is a Protestant, the other a Catholic. The Protestant stands No. 12 upon the panel; the Catholic No. 126.

There is not the slightest pretence for alleging that the Protestant was placed higher on the panel on account of his superior ‘respectability.’

The sheriff and his agent, Mr. Hamilton, were examined at the trial. The former swore that he himself framed the panel from the Jurors’ Book, with the assistance of Mr. Hamilton, having regard, in the selection of names, to the respectability of the parties alone. Mr. Hamilton, on his cross-examination, admitted that 100 names out of the 150 upon the panel were furnished by a person of the name of Wheeler, a clerk in the sheriff’s office, and a notorious partisan.

The agent for the prisoner desired to have this Wheeler examined on the trial with respect to the construction of the jury, as also a Mr. Stephen Monahan, who is a clerk in the Attorney-General’s office. Immediately after a day had been fixed for the trial, subpoenas were issued for both these parties; but, on inquiry, it was found that both had simultaneously disappeared. An application for a postponement of the trial was made, grounded on the absence of the last-mentioned person, who, by the affidavit of the prisoner’s agent, was stated to be an indispensable witness in the case. This application was refused by the court.

It was not enough that a panel should be packed by a partisan sheriff and his subordinates. The jury was further packed from the panel. The Crown-Solicitor, in open court, and with the sanction of the Attorney-General, excluded from the jury every man about whose hostility towards the principles of the prisoner there was the slightest doubt. The number of those so excluded amounted to thirty-nine, being more than half of the jurors who answered. And of the thirty nine so excluded, nineteen were Catholics, there being only nine remaining Catholics on the whole panel.

It is hardly necessary to add that, among the jurors sworn, there was not a single Catholic.

Such are the expedients on which British power has ever relied, and does still rely, for its maintenance in Ireland; such the expedients by which JOHN MITCHEL, a brave and true patriot, has been torn, a chained captive, from his country and his home! And by the same expedients any Irishman may be cut off whenever it pleases an Attorney-General and a sheriff to conspire for his destruction.

By order of the Council:
Secretary of the Irish Confederation.