HC Deb 09 February 1882 vol 266 cc241-2

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been given to the charge delivered by the County Court Judge to the Grand Jury at Wicklow, on the 20th January of the present year, in which the following passages occur:— I beg to inform you that there are only three cases to go before you to-day, and these are only ordinary cases of larceny." "I am very glad to be able to congratulate you on the absence of serious crime in this part of the country." "Gentlemen, I have made inquiries as to the condition of this part of the country, and I am very glad to know, from the very best authority, that it is at present in a very satisfactory condition; adding— I have just come from Baltinglass. There were but two criminal cases there, which were referred back to the assizes, leaving not a single case to go before the grand jury, and there was no criminal business whatever in the town of Baltinglass; and, whether, looking to these reiterated assertions of the learned Judge as to the almost complete absence of crime and outrage, he can inform the House upon what grounds the entire county of Wicklow has been proscribed under the Coercion Act and proclaimed under the Arms Act?


The hon. Member sent me a newspaper containing a report of the charge, and I find the words he quotes are correct, although the Judge added some remarks as to the lamentable condition of the Western portion of the county. I may say that it was found necessary to proscribe the whole of the county of Wicklow under the Protection of Person and Property Act, as well as most other parts of Ireland, and it was done to prevent the intimidation which was very prevalent, especially about Baltinglass.