March 17, 1846
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, I cannot believe that Irishmen were the authors of the letters in your paper relative to Mr. O'Connell's most true statement, that "the Irish people are ready to share their last potato with their fellow creature." Your correspondents good-naturedly attempt an explanation, but a real Irishmen would have known better what he meant. "Is Mr. O'Connell an Irishman?" Who ever denied it? And "he has potatoes." Why shouldn't he? He is a real Irishman to the backbone. Only look at the funny twinkle in his eye; and that he has potatoes, see how fat, and sleek, and big he is. Potatoes, indeed! I do not say that he grows them himself; that is not the question. One correspondent asks, "Is he an Irishman, has he potatoes, and has he shared them?" The other kindly apologizes for suggesting that it is only "when reduced tot he last potato that conistency would oblige him to share it. But your correspondents have utterly mistaken Mr. O'Connell's meaning. Mr. O'Connell was speaking not of himself, at all, at all, but of the people. Yes, Sir, thsoe emphatically called the people, those always nearest and dearest to his heart; and he was speaking from experience, too, his own long personal experience, for he has for many years taken a large slice off their last potato, and therefore spoke not only the truth, but had the best right to know that what he said was truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
"I am, Sir, your contented reader,
A REAL IRISHMAN