HC Deb 15 July 1872 vol 212 cc1148-9

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, If he has any in- formation that on Sunday the 30th of June a letter was read from the altar of the Roman Catholic Parochial Church of Castlebar, from the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, prohibiting the Rev. Patrick Walsh from all sacerdotal functions within his diocese; and if he is the same Mr. Walsh who, in his evidence on behalf of the Petitioner, before Mr. Justice Keogh, stated that he was credibly informed he would be suspended for having refused to support the candidature of Captain Nolan; and, if any steps can be taken to protect Mr. Walsh under these circumstances?


said, that when he first saw his hon. Friend's Question on the Notice Paper he ordered inquiries on the subject to be instituted in Ireland, and he had obtained some information which he would communicate to the House. The statement made by his hon. Friend as to the Rev. Patrick Walsh was not exactly correct, for on referring to the evidence given at the Galway Election Inquiry, he found that the gentleman in question said he did not expect he should be suspended, although a brother clergyman had told him that he would. He further said that he had been reported or misrepresented as having lampooned his Bishop in a letter, but that in reality he had done nothing of the kind, and he did not expect he should be suspended. Archbishop MacHale, on being examined, was asked whether he intended to suspend Mr. Walsh or not, and he replied—"I never entertained such an idea; I never even once thought of it." No official report had reached the authorities in Dublin with reference to the matter referred to by the hon. Member for Armagh; but he was informed that Mr. Walsh had written a letter to The Mayo Telegraph, which was re-published in that day's Freeman's Journal. He caused a telegram to be sent to Dubin asking what had appeared in the latter newspaper, and the answer he had received was as follows:— Mr. Walsh says that the statement that he had been visited by Dr. MacHale with ecclesiastical censure is false and malicious; that if he (Mr. Walsh) is about to leave the parish, it is of his own option and free will; and that if he should emigrate to America, he will only be following the example of thousands of his fellow-countrymen.