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72 supernatural agency seem to be at work; but as yet no one can discover from which quarter the missives are sent, or whence the unearthly sounds proceed. Of course conjecture, with all its aids and appliances, is not idle – and the most celebrated local astrologers and soothsayers have been consulted in order to bring unto light the mysterious eld [sic] connected with the unknown – while the love most people cherish for the wild and wonderful has not failed to lend a helping hand in rendering more graphic the real and imagined details of the affair. Some suppose the visitant to be no other than the familiar spirit of the Pope, which for several weeks past has been among its friends in Downing Street watching the progress of the Maynooth Bill – and now that the measure is safe, takes an occasional run over to the Green Isle to amuse itself at the expense at the denizens of Lisnagarvy. Others again argue that it is only the Devil himself returning from the Conciliation Hall! – while a still greater number of persons quietly attribute the whole affair of a worthy disciple of the latter gentleman – one who lives only a short distance from the scene of his labours. Be these opinions as they may, certain it is that some evil spirit of terra firma is busily engaged, to the great annoyance of a poor old widow and her immediate relatives; and it might be well, now that the farce has been repeated so often, for the police to keep a sharp lookout – they will soon detect the real author of this petty mischief – and perhaps a night or two’s confinement might break the spell of the magician, at least for a little season. The ghost still continues his pranks and the public are led to conclude that it is no less a personage than the ghost of Tom Steele, the “Head Pacificator” sent here by the great mendicant to divert our good folks attention off Dan who has made, as on former occasion, a private arrangement to “steal a march” to Belfast to canvass the electors, but quite incognito. Mr McEvoy dictates this as the most rational course, as he dreads the passage through Lisnagarvy.54 Belfast Newsletter, 1 June 1847 – Court Report. Raising a Ghost. Before Thomas Verner, Esq - An elderly woman residing in the neighbourhood of Peter’s Hill preferred a complaint against two of her “journeymen” – lads about thirteen years old – for leaving her employment without giving the customary notice. The juveniles lived in the house with the complainant and were engaged by her to drive an ass and cart through the town for the purpose of selling the “pure Cromac” to the inhabitants.55 They were pale, 54 The Maynooth Bill was introduced by Sir Robert Peel and proposed increasing the government grant to the Catholic seminary at Maynooth. Tom Steele was named thus by Daniel O’Connell and charged with quelling faction-fighting within the Repeal Movement. The Reverend Nicholas McEvoy was a prominent clerical supporter of the Repeal Movement. 55 Water from the springs in the Cromac district of Belfast was exceptionally pure.

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