§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If he would explain to the House for what reason the county of Cavan has not yet been relieved from proclamation under the Peace Preservation (Ireland) Acts 1856 and 1870, notwithstanding the fact that for the past three years the judges attending the assizes have congratulated the grand jury on the immunity enjoyed by the county from agrarian outrage or crimes ascribable to secret societies?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
, in reply, said, a portion of the county of Cavan bordering on County Meath was specially proclaimed in 1870 on account of its disturbed state. He would make inquiries and see whether the circumstances of the case had altered, and whether it was possible to revoke that special proclamation. But the rest of the county was proclaimed, in the ordinary sense of the term, in common with a great part of Ireland, and he was bound to say he did not think it wise to revoke that proclamation. The county was one of those border counties in which there was a great rivalry of spirit between the two great factions into which Ireland was divided. One of the effects of the ordinary proclamation was to make it necessary to obtain licences in order to have or carry arms, and so long as party feeling ran as high as at present, very mischievous consequences might ensue if that power were not retained in the hands of the Government. He might also state that within the last few days only, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Cavan had called the attention of his flock to the fact of the great spread of secret societies in the county, which he condemned.