Denish O Driscoill of Ardagh
Contributed by Jean Prendergast
Hibernian Chronicle, 24/1/1793
Editorial -' Extract of a letter from Waterford dated Ja 3, 1793.
'I p .. so give you to the account .Queen's birthright, which indeed .. very brilliant; and the Characters so numerous that I could not recollect one half of them. For the present I shall give you a specimen of a Countyman of yours, a Denish O Driscoill, but who personated the character I could not discover. He appeared as a County Cork Papist Farmer; the following state of his guis was handed about by himself.
'The case of Denish O Driscoill of Ardagh, in the barony of West Carbery, in the County of Cork. - Sheweth, that I, Denish O Driscoill, who now solicits the liberality and protection of the honest and good Protestant . of all descriptions in the county of Waterford, the only part .and denounce to slavery their poor Catholic brethren - I say that I had a comfortable farm of tin acre, which my poor father took a lease of in the year 1758, for 31 years, the ground then being only marshy, and not taxable; but my father tence M'Teuge O Driscoill, son to Teuge Roe, who was son to Denish Beg M'Carthy More's grand-daughter, who all had estates, but what of that now: my father, myself, and my two brothers, Darby and M'Gillicuddy, by out work, early and late, brought the marsh and moor to be tillage ground - and what of that; my worthy gentlemen, our lease being out March 1789, myself put in my proposal to the landlord of a high rent, more by forty shilling a year than any one else offered, and the agent told me I must quit my house, as I had not been qualified to serve the master by giving him a vote, as I was a Papist, but if I turned and would be a voter, I may have my house and plot at my own offer; and as I could not swear what he wanted me, as I would rather be an honest and honourable beggar than a perjured rouge, I was forced to quit my poor house, and farm, which was set to a man from Tantahouse, in the Black North; and myself hearing that this county was a place where all was united like born brothers, myself was glad to come among you, and rather trust your generosity, humanity, benevolence, and liberality, in hopes of getting a comfortable resting place for my poor old bones, in my old days, rather than stay in Carbery, where I see men contrary to ourselves; so I came among you and am sure that in the best and unprejudiced county Waterford, where the .. are well paid, and where no policemen or [Militia?] are a charge on the poor, and where the greatest may spend their fortunes among their tenants, and don't throw it away in London, I'll get a let and place, where I myself and Nell, and young Darby, Florence, Denish, Teuge, and Phelim would live honestly and free from being B .. .. as they and myself now is; and let me say it, that my five boys shall .. the die for honest and good King George - who wishes his Protestants .. .. .. Catholics, every thing thats good; and myself heared that there is nobody that won't follow the good King's advice, and that he will be turned off the sack where he sits, as I was out of .. .. and devil mend him, says Denish O Driscoill.
Tom Paine, represented by a person incognito was informed that his room was preferable to his [company?]. - He was taken prisoner by O Driscoill, who told him his wattle would free this country from sedition, .. from serpents. For want of a justice to commit him, [he?] was offered to the recruiting party, who refused [him?], and handed Tom to the press-gang, who shipped [him?] down theirs, while the band struck up 'Long Live the King.'