MELI: Martin, what are you doing here? Why aren’t you at the regatta? You should be crewing, shouldn’t you?
MARTIN: The Master said I could have the day off. But Colonel Kernahan told me to return to the estate. So I picked up the pamphlet and came over.
MELI: Well, what a lovely surprise! What did you make of the United Irishmen?
MARTIN: Great! Really great! If only they had succeeded we wouldn’t be fighting now.
MELI: Did you have problems with the writing?
MARTIN: Only the French. Libert, egalite, fraternite.
MELI: (Laughing) Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
MARTIN: Liberty, equality and brotherhood or death! That should be our motto too.
MELI: It was the French Revolution that really influenced the United Irishmen. Anyway, enough of the death, Martin.
MARTIN: Wolfe Tone wanted Liberty – to break the connection with England, didn’t he? ‘The never failing source of all our political evils’, he said.
MELI: But he also wanted Equality. In those days the Protestant Ascendancy was running the country and the Catholics were mainly peasants.
MARTIN: And brotherhood?
MELI: The United Irishmen wanted to unite all Irishmen, regardless of religion. Wolfe Tone was Church of Ireland and there were many Presbyterians at the first meeting.
MARTIN: So Protestants and Catholics could be brothers. (Laughing) Like you and me?
MELI: Like the two of us.