HC Deb 01 March 1886 vol 302 cc1529-30
MR. MACARTNEY (for Colonel Waring)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he is aware that the National League indirectly and directly prohibits the payment of rent; whether he is aware that the Rev. O'Connor, P.P., Firies, is reported, in The Kerry Sentinel of 10th November, as having said, at a meeting of the National League held on 7th November, If any tenant went behind his neighbour's back and paid his rent, he was a traitor and a coward, and should be cast out from among them. [A voice—'Shoot him' (no, no).] Father O'Connor—Don't, but put a 'brassil' on him, and he will be known and execrated all over the Country; whether it is true that Mr. Curtin, who had paid his rent, was shot on the Friday following; and, whether, under these and similar circumstances which recur daily in Ireland, he will take any steps to bring the present laws of conspiracy to bear upon a combination of this character?


Before the right hon. Gentleman replies to this Question, I would ask, Whether he is aware that the meeting alleged by the Question to have been a meeting of the National League was not a meeting of that body, but a meeting of tenants on the estate of Lord Kenmare; and, whatever else was the cause of it, whether he has reason to suppose the lamentable murder of Mr. O'Connell Curtin had nothing whatever to do with his having paid or not paid his rent?


In reply to the two parts of the Question of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell), I believe he is perfectly accurate in saying that the words quoted were used not at a National League meeting, but at a sheriff's sale; as to whether the payment of rent had nothing to do with the death of Mr. Curtin—[An hon. Member: Murder!]— murder of Mr. Curtin, I cannot tell. All I can say is that, on inquiry, I find Curtin paid his rent on the 12th of October, one month before his murder. In reply to the Question of the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel Waring), I have to say that I am not aware, so far as a matter of observation, that the National League has issued such a prohibition as that described in the first part of the Question. I am aware, of course, that, in some instances, advice has been given not to pay unless in cases where a sufficient remission was given. I say, in reference to the murder of Mr. Curtin, I do not know any justification for the statement that such events occur daily. With regard to the last paragraph of the Question, I have to say that the law of conspiracy is already broad enough to deal with cases of illegal combination which have been established, and that, of course, will be continued.