The Australian 11th Jan, 1844 (abridged)
The first monster meeting since the prorogation of Parliament, came off at Loughrea, in the county of Galway, about ninety miles from Dublin, on Sunday. Mr. O’Connell went with his friends from Dublin in a carriage and four to Ballinasloe. He departed from thence about twelve o’clock on Sunday morning and arrived at Loughrea at three o’clock. At various points along the road groups of people were assembled who hailed Mr. O’Connell with that enthusiasm which is the characteristic of the Irish people. Multitudes, accompanied by bands and banners, went out from Loughrea to meet and escort Mr. O’Connell to the meeting. The procession was swelled by many bands of music and companies of men and women who came from various distances.
Several hundreds of horsemen, many with their wives mounted behind them, joined in the procession. The rain fell heavily during the whole day and somewhat dampened the ardour of the zealous repealers. Mr. Bodkin, M.P., took the chair. Mr. O’Connell’s speech was brief and distinguished by no novelty. Speeches were afterwards made by Dr. M. Hales, Dr. Ffrench, and Mr. J. Ffrench.