On Commitments to Political Constituencies

Daniel O'ConnellI am the more confirmed in this determination by everything I see and hear in this country. Their statesmen in and out of office have their minds too occupied with English and foreign affairs to have either leisure or inclination to be troubled with the wants of Ireland or the rights of her people. I solemnly declare my conviction that the senate of Petersburg or the divan of Constantinople would be as ready to attend to the grievances of Ireland as the British House of Commons. There is an utter ignorance of, and indifference to, our sufferings and privations. It is really idle to expect that it could be otherwise! What care they for us, provided we be submissive, pay the taxes, furnish recruits for the Army and Navy and bless the masters who either despise or oppress or combine both? The apathy that exists respecting Ireland is worse than the national antipathy they bear us.

—Daniel O’Connell
Letter to TM Ray, 1839

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