HC Deb 13 June 1881 vol 262 cc357-8

wished to know why the meeting which was advertized to take place yesterday at Millstreet, Skibbereen, had been interdicted by the Government?


Sir, the meeting was to come together in a great many thousands. The number may have been exaggerated; but I hear 15,000 had come together. We considered that if it were allowed to be held there was every probability the district would be put in the same lawless state as the Western corner of the county. Therefore, we thought it our duty to put a stop to it. We had the additional reason for doing so that we were given to understand that a person obnoxious to the members of the Land League in that district would be personally in danger.


asked, why only one day's notice had been given of the intention of the Government to prevent the meeting. The leaders had considerable difficulty in preventing the people coming from great distances?


, in reply, said, the reason why so short a notice was given by the Government was probably that very short notice was given to them. If the hon. Member would secure that the Government should have notice of meetings some considerable time before they took place, they would take care to consider whether or not they should be prohibited, and to give as long a ontice as they could. With regard to the difficulties of the local leaders, he really did not, however, think that among other difficulties that was one that was much to be considered. In this case they appeared to be soon got over. What happened was that after the prohibition a large crowd of people gathered together, and that upon the understanding that no meeting was to be held, the resident magistrate said there was no objection to them going in procession into the country and back, which was quietly done.