HC Deb 14 March 1884 vol 285 cc1538-9

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the statement that Angus Hannan, lately convicted by the Omagh Bench of Magistrates of carrying a loaded revolver in a proclaimed district, and of threatening a sentry with it, is not an Orangeman, Whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that it appears by the published Reports of the Grand Orange Lodge of Tyrone that Hannan has been for years a member of that body; whether one of the magistrates who tried the case, Major Auchinleck, had marched with Hannan in an Orange procession to disturb the meetings at Omagh and Dromore; whether the magistrates of the Omagh Petty Sessions Bench allow their clerk, Captain Rowley A. Miller, to be absent from his office for some days every week in contravention of the Law, and his duties to be performed by Angus Hannan, convicted as above mentioned; and, whether this state of things will be permitted to continue?


I do not quite know what the hon. Member alludes to in his statement that Angus Hannan is not an Orangeman. I did not make such a statement. I said the charge against Hannan was not a Party one, and likewise that the Chairman of the Bench of Magistrates informed me he did not know he was an Orangeman. However, as a matter of fact, he marched in an Orange procession in which Major Auchinleck was concerned. I have seen no published Report of the Grand Orange Lodge of Tyrone, nor do I know that any such Reports are published. With regard to the duties of the Clerk of Petty Sessions at Omagh, I find the facts to be as follows:—Nine years ago the magistrates made regulations requiring Cap- tain Miller to be in his office at certain hours on certain days. They did not thereby release him from responsibility for duty that might arise on other days; and he has been warned by the present Registrar that permission from the Justices would be no excuse for absence if it led to substantial difficulty in public business. The Clerk has been in the habit, with the sanction of the Justices, of sometimes employing Hannan to act in his absence. This has not been permitted since the latter was convicted of carrying arms without licence in a proclaimed district.