§ Mr. W. J. CORBET
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been called to the action of the magistrates at Baltinglass, county Wicklow, on a recent occasion, in regard to a charge brought against the Rev. Mr. Usher, Rector of Baltinglass, of assaulting Henry Fennell, and afterwards shooting at a man named Martin Flinter; whether the magistrates refused to send the shooting case for trial, although it was sworn that the Rev. Mr. Usher pursued Flinter through the streets, firing three shots from a revolver at him, but fined him five shillings for the assault on Fennell; and, whether he can take any steps to improve the administration of the law in the local courts of the county Wicklow?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I have received an official account of this transaction, which is to the effect that the Rev. Mr. Usher is at present unpopular in Baltinglass, and that he was assaulted in the town on the night of August 26 when returning home. In self-defence he struck Henry Fennell with his umbrella, and for this assault he was fined 5s. Without commenting on the letter of Mr. Usher, who certainly attacked the Irish Government in bitter terms, I think that fine was the outside penalty that could be inflicted on him. I understand that it was proved at the trial by Mr. Usher that he fired the shots for the purpose of attracting the attention of the police, and as the magistrates refused to return the case for trial, they were doubtless satisfied with the evidence on this point. One of the witnesses against the rev. gentleman—Martin Flinter—was fined 5s. for assaulting him on the occasion.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
asked whether the reports stated that the Rev. Mr. Usher's unpopularity was largely due to the fact of his having fired off shots in the immediate proximity of a number of his parishioners?
§ [No reply was given.]