The new Disraeli Government tried to buy off Moore and Keogh with
appointments, but the "Brigade" stood firm. The Tenant League
which had started in Callan in Kilkenny had Moore's firm support
and for a time that of the "Brigade". By voting with the Whigs
the Brigade toppled yet another English Government and in the
1852 election most of the "Brigade" were returned.
A meeting was held between the League and the Brigade on August
5th. In the 1852 election the landlords were firmly against the
Brigade and Moore found himself snubbed by most of his friends.
Moore's ersatz friend and fellow brigadier Ouseley Higgins tried
to unseat Moore but intrigue didn't work. McAlpine the Tory candidate
tried to plead undue clerical influence and an enquiry was held
in Castlebar but collapsed when the complainants failed to appear
or give evidence.
The smell of death hung over the Independent opposition party
for the next five years but its final collapse was postponed until
the election of 1857. Moore and Higgins were elected and the Home Rule-Tenant Right Party held together. Moore
had a hard fight for his seat. Under Cardinal Cullen's influence,
the bishops, with the exception of Dr. MacHale and Dr. Deery,
had forbidden their priests to support the Independents. However,
as a consequence of Moore's success, the two English parties agreed
to a Commission to enquire into "clerical influence". This time
it worked. Fr. Conway and Fr. Luke Ryan together with Dr. MacHale
being named as the chief agents of this "intimidation". Nothing
was said of the mass "intimidation" of electors by Cullen's lay
and clerical henchmen in almost every constituency in Ireland.
The Reform Bill of 1870 had to be passed before a real Home Rule
Party, under Butt (who had learned much from Moore's failure),
could come into existence. Moore recognised the utter inefficiency
of the franchise as it was since 1829. "I shall have it decided"
id in an election address in Ballina, "whether one landlord shall
herd 50, another 100, better men than himself to vote for an "amadáun"
at his bidding'".
Moore was unseated and declared, by a Parliamentary Commission,to
be ineligible for the ensuing by-election. The fact was that British
Whig and Tory parties both now recognised that Moore could not
be "bought" and that he was a "Home Ruler".
Moore's last political effort - He contested a seat in 1860 in
Kilkenny; he knew he could not win, but he did succeed in what
he wanted having Cardinal Cullen's Whig placeman nominee put at
the bottom of the poll. After 1860 he became increasingly sceptical
of the efficiency of the constitutional effort to obtain Repeal
and sometime about 1866 he joined the Fenian movement, but was
repelled by the impractical day-dreaming of some of its leaders.
He continued to race, his best horse at this time being "Croagh
Patrick". He and his family went to London after Christmas 1869.
He returned alone at Easter to attend to affairs of the estate
and died of a stroke on 19th April 1870 attended by Fr. Lavelle.
His family asked that no public ceremonial take place and that
he be buried quietly in Kiltoom rather than Glasnevin. All Irish
papers and indeed some English came out with black-bordered obituaries
George Henry the sportsman, George Henry the politician, but what
of George Henry the man? John Henry Garvey, long the school master
in Carnacon used to say ,"He was the finest scholar and greatest
patriot of the last 100 years". Alec McDonnell: "A fine man, that
respected every mans rights". He was a good employer, and never
evicted a tenant.
An interesting "aguisín"-(aside!) George Henry Moore understood
Irish and could speak it reasonably well, according to Martin
Haugh of Tournakeady.
George IV and Maurice George
Geoge Henry had four sons and one daughter. George the eldest
was born in 1852. He received the usual governess education and
with Maurice was sent to Oscott College which he thoroughly hated.
He was expelled at the age of 16. He said it was because he was
making no progress. But an important part of his education took
place between 1858 - 1861. He spent this time with the jockeys,
and workmen round Moorehall where he learned to ride and shoot,
but more importantly he learned to know and sympathise with their
outlooks and attitudes. He watched tradesmen at work and ever
afterwards he always had a great respect for craftsmen. For example
in his "Confessions of a Young Man" he says that the illiterate
carpenter who could design and build a beautiful wardrobe was
a true artist. Years later he watched my father make a slit grafting
on an apple-tree and said "You craftsmen are the real artists
of the world. You create something that has beauty in itself".