§ MR. WHALLEY
said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, with reference to the case of Priest Maginn, What if any further information he has obtained as to his refusal to give evidence on the inquiry relating to the affray in which Police Constable Duggan was shot; also, with reference to the statement of Mr. Justice Keogh, imputing misconduct to magistrates and other parties, whether he has communicated with the Lord Chancellor of Ireland thereon; and, with reference "to the full and impartial inquiry, with every facility for all parties to take part, and to adduce any evidence likely to throw light upon the transaction," as promised on the part of the Government by the Chief Secretary, whether facilities will be afforded for ascertaining if it was one of the objects of the Fenian conspiracy "to wade in the blood of Orangemen and heretics who do not join us and become one of ourselves," and inquiring into the authenticity of the alleged Fenian oath as published in newspapers; first in Canada, and subsequently in this country?
In reply, Sir, to the Question of the hon. Member for Peterborough, I have to state that, since I answered the Question put to me by him the other evening, some fresh information upon this subject has reached me, and I find that, although there was no formal inquiry into the circumstances of the affray to which he refers, what did really happen was this:—The magistrates having taken the usual steps to obtain informations with regard to the occurrence which had taken place, the Reverend Mr. Maginn attended the place where these informations were being taken, and he was asked to swear an information. I think the best answer I can give to the hon. Gentleman's Question is to read the copy of the note taken by the magistrates upon the occasion, which was afterwards forwarded to me by the Inspector of Police who attended on the occasion—The Reverend Thomas Maginn thus concludes his evidence; he says 'that he acted in the capacity of priest, that he had nothing to say further than that which he had stated before, and that if he were then examined further it would tend to lessen his influence; that he had already exposed his life in his endeavours to preserve the peace, and that he was willing to do so again, and that every priest in the county of Kerry was willing to do the same.'1485 In consequence of that statement the reverend gentleman was not sworn, and did not make any information. With regard to the second Question of the hon. Member, I have to state that the Lord Chancellor of Ireland has communicated the nature of the observations of Mr. Justice Keogh to the magistrates to whom they referred, and that, of course, any further steps that the Lord Chancellor may think necessary to take will be guided very much by the nature of the reply to those observations which the magistrates may make. With regard to the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, I have only to say that I cannot conceive that the nature of the Fenian oath can in any way become a portion of any inquiry which may be instituted with regard to the conduct of those magistrates.
said, he wished to know, whether the noble Lord had any objection to lay the Report of Mr. Justice Keogh upon the table of the House?
§ MR. WHALLEY
said, he wished to ask, if the noble Lord had any objection to lay a Copy of the Informations upon the table?
I shall have no objection to lay on the table a copy of the informations taken before the magistrates.