HC Deb 28 February 1881 vol 258 cc1852-3

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, If his attention has been drawn to the report of the proceedings in the High Court of Justice, Dublin, on Tuesday 21st instant, in reference to an alleged agrarian outrage by tenant farmers on a sheriff in county Armagh, in the course of which Baron Dowse declared the tenants guiltless of blame, and said— It is quite clear to the court that the sheriff has been the law-breaker in this affair. I suppose this is one of the cases put down in the papers as instances of the Queen's writ not running; and, whether he will take the conduct of this high sheriff into consideration on the passing of the Protection of Person and Property Bill?


Sir, I have seen in the newspapers the report of the case referred to, and I collect that what occurred was this:—The sub-sheriff of Armagh county went to a farm in the possession of a man named Campbell to execute a writ of fieri facias accompanied by the solicitor of the plaintiff named in the writ, and, seeing cattle on the land, seized them. They were rescued, and the sheriff's bailiffs assaulted. It turned out that the fieri facias was out of date, and, consequently, no seizure could lawfully be made under it. Campbell brought an action against the sub-sheriff and the solicitor, and an application to remit the action to the County Court was refused by the Exchequer Division. On this state of facts Baron Dowse is reported to have expressed himself, on the hearing of the application, substantially to the effect stated in the Question of the hon. Member. The high-sheriff, however, had nothing personally to say in the matter, and nothing on his part calls for the consideration of the Government. As to the latter part of the Question, I beg to say that it is not one of the cases in which the Queen's writ was represented as not running in Ireland.