HC Deb 09 June 1882 vol 270 cc662-4

I wish to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he has received any further information with regard to the terrible crime which was reported yesterday, the murder of Mr. Walter Bourke; and, also, whether there is any truth in the reports since received of further outrages in Ireland?


I have received a great mass of telegrams, out of which I have hastily extracted what I think will be novel and interesting to the House. One telegram says— Mr. Bourke came into Gort, where some land oases were for trial, accompanied in his trap only by a corporal of Royal Dragoons. Not one of the tenants appeared to meet the cases. The soldier had only come down the day before yesterday. Five men had loopholed the wall inside the garden and next the gate at Castle Taylor, and shot both as they passed. The soldier was trying to load when shot. Mr. Shaw Taylor was close by, heard the shots, and saw the men pick up the two rifles, and walk away. Another telegram is as follows: — Double murder at Castle Taylor: Further particulars.—Mr. Bourke left home at 8.30 a.m. yesterday, with escort of one soldier, to attend Gort Land Sessions, to which he was summoned by tenants (not one of whom appeared). The assailants were in ambuscade at one of Castle Taylor gates. They escaped across fields, taking with them a Winchester repeating rifle and a Cavalry carbine from the murdered men. Were seen by Mr. Shaw Taylor, who was coming up the road, who says there were five or six men walking fast, not running, in extended order across the field; nearest, who presented gun at him, 60 or 80 yards distant. All carried guns, and one had two. Does not know any of them. Described them as well-dressed in frieze of the country, and low hats. Had heard five or six shots in rapid succession from direction where bodies were found. Death appears to have been instantaneous. Inquest at 1 p.m. to-day. Throe arrests on suspicion. I have next another telegram in almost identical terms. Then comes a series of telegrams in reference to another outrage, which there is reason to believe was not an agrarian murder in any sense, and which I need hardly read. [Cries of "Read!"] From Sub-Inspector Clones.—Altercation arose last evening between Edward M'Phillip and three brothers named M'Aviney. M'Phillip was knocked down. Immediately attended by doctors, life was extinct. Inquest will be hold to-day. Three M'Avineys arrested. The next telegram is— From Constable, at Ballyfarna.— Henry East, of Covatrench, wounded at 4 p.m. on the 8th instant by three men unknown, having received three revolver shots in the leg, breaking one. Motive, agrarian. I gather from a non-official telegram that the case is likely to prove fatal. The next is— From Sub-Inspector, at Crossmalina.— Michael Browne, farmer, Rathglass, fired at and wounded by party of six men, near his own house, at 6 p.m. on the 8th instant. Revolver ball lodging in right leg; agrarian. I have also received the following telegram from Castleisland:— Cornelius Hickey, of Crinny, was fired at and received two revolver bullets in right leg, about 6 p.m. yesterday, when returning from Castleisland. Motive agrarian. Wound not considered dangerous. Four arrests. Colonel Brackenbury sums up those outrages in the following telegram:— Besides murder of Mr. Bourke and soldier yesterday in Galway, the following outrages are reported:—Michael Browne, farmer, Bathglass, county Mayo; Henry East, of Covatrench, county Roscommon; Cornelius Hickey, of Crinny, county Kerry, all severely wounded in the logs by bullets fired from revolvers. All these four outrages took place between 3 and 6 o'clock in the afternoon. I invite your attention to the similarity of crimes over this wide area, and to its simultaneous commission. It is against outrages of this kind that the Prevention of Crime Bill is directed— not the 4th clause, which we are considering, but the 9th clause.