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Meehan’s The Confederation of Kilkenny, 1905

What is inside?

Published in Dublin in 1905 by James Duffy & Co., and not by coincidence dedicated to Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, C. P. Meehan's original publication of the Confederation of Kilkenny, was at the behest of Gavan Duffy and formed part of the Library of Ireland publications series, the aim of which was posit an alternative view of the history of Ireland: namely that concerned with the nation's struggle against dominion. The first meeting of the confederate parliament took place on 24th October 1642 at the Kilkenny mansion of Sir Robert Shea and marks one of the seminal moments in the Irish struggle much later articulated by the likes of Gavan Duffy. Within ten days the Confederate Parliament consisting of twenty-four spiritual and temporal peers and some two-hundred commoners had resolved to create national councils for all of the counties of Ireland in order to govern by means not inconsistent with the Roman Catholic credo. Also instituted was a supreme council, whose first elected president was Lord Mountgarrett, which would hold power over all military, judicial and administrative matters in the country. In order to sanction acts passed by the council a great seal was created, a new Irish instrument of law to challenge the Great Seal of England used to sanction laws emanating from London. The Great Seal of Kilkenny bore some familiar Irish emblems such as the harp and cross and also pictured a flaming heart, the wings of a dove and a crown. One of the first acts made under the Seal of the Confederation was to muster 30,000 men to the Confederate Army in the province of Leinster. As one would expect the Confederation of Kilkenny details the major conflicts during the Confederacy as well as the considerable political machinations and intrigue that dominated the period, especially those surrounding the chief protagonists, Owen Roe O'Neill, Lord Inchiquin, General Taafe and the Duke of Ormond. Meehan's history culminates in 1649 with the invasion of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell Containing some 350 pages, Meehan's publication also contains a comprehensive appendix and some appendices of interest, which includes the trial of Sir Phelim O'Neill. Fully searchable, this digital republication of Meehan's Confederation of Kilkenny is highly recommended to anyone interested in the confederacy period.

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