HC Deb 07 July 1882 vol 271 cc1782-3

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been directed to a speech delivered at the re-opening of Newry Orange Hall on Thursday June 22nd, in which occur the following passages:— The Protestants felt that each one would have to combine with the other for their mutual defence. When the yeomen found they were so treated they went into the Diamon field and they confronted their foes and fired upon them. Forty-six of their opponents fell upon the field, while not a single one of the Protestant party was wounded. As a Member of the Committee I can tell you that at the present moment the Orange men are organised into regiments and companies, and have their arms ready and everything ready; whether the Mr. Peel who delivered this speech is coroner and town clerk of Armagh; whether, as town clerk, he is officially charged with preparing the list of Parliamentary Voters; whether he is at the same time honorary secretary to the County Conservative Association; and, if these statements be true, what steps the Government propose to take?


Sir, I have seen a report of the speech in question. It contains the passage quoted by the hon. Member. Perhaps a different complexion might be put on the passage by the context; but, of course, it is a speech which ought not to have been made, for it not only stirs passion, but incites people to conduct which is actually illegal and punishable by Statute. Mr. Peel is County Coroner and Town Clerk. In the latter capacity it is his duty to prepare the Lists of Parliamentary Voters. He did not receive his appointments from the Executive Government, who, consequently, have no control over him. I am informed that Mr. Peel is not secretary to the County Conservative Association. The Government has no intention of taking any steps in the matter.