HC Deb 08 March 1886 vol 303 cc100-2
MR. W. O'BRIEN(for Mr. T. M. HEALY) (Tyrone, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the letter of the Orangeman, James Mulligan, in The Derry Journal of 20th Feburary, in which he alleges that he was placed on trial before a Court in the Lodge on a number of counts, "which filled a sheet of paper," under the following circumstances:— The monthly meeting of Augher Orange Lodge was held on Thursday 11th instant, J. C. Ferrall, Worthy Master, in the Chair. The special business of the evening was to investigate a charge against me, as follows:—A. M. preferred a charge against James Mulligan of disloyalty to the Queen and Constitution at the late election by his conduct in not voting for and supporting Captain S. Maxwell, the Constitutional candidate. This charge was preferred on 10th December 1885, but, through some informalities in the Master's proceedings, it was deferred until next night; whether the Government propose to allow Orange Lodges to hold Courts to investigate the manner in which the Brethren exercise the franchise; whether the police are aware that such Courts in Orange Lodges after the election have been frequently held, and greatly tend to prevent the freedom of the ballot; is he aware that James Mulligan further complains of being arraigned on the additional accusation that he Did not attend the Revision Court to assist complainant in securing his vote. The proof failing to inculpate me before the Committee, it must go to a higher Court, where W. E. Macartney will be president, unless his lately acquired dignity (M.P. for South Antrim) might cause him to depute the duty to those who have a relish for it; and, does the Government recognise the validity of the tribunal over which Mr. Macartney is alleged to preside; and, if not, what will be done to secure the freedom of members of the Orange organisation? The hon. Member would, at the same time, ask a Question of which he had given him rather short private Notice. It was, Whether his attention had been called to another letter in The Derry Journal from this Orangeman, giving the details of another attack upon him in the Orange Lodge. It was as follows:— When the business of the meeting was over and they prepared to go, an individual said I would be better with police protection. Then all at once two others attacked me with false statements. One said I had voted for O'Brien and prevented others from voting for Maxwell, and that, therefore, I should be allowed into no decent society. I first of all told them their statements were all false, and that I gave no vote except for those in favour of the temperance movement in Parliament. At this they became enraged, and one of them ordered me out. I was then pursued by a 'booing' and shouting mob, and a stone was thrown by one of the mob, which providentially struck me on the top of a high hat, as it might otherwise have hurt me very much. I turned and pursued the Orange mob, who ran like rabbits back to the Orange lodge? He would also ask if the police had reported upon that outrage?


I only received the quotation the hon. Member was good enough to send me five minutes before I came down to the House. I will cause inquiry to be made into the particulars. With reference to the Question on the Paper, I am informed that such a letter did appear in The Derry Journal, as is stated in the Question. The police have no means of knowing what takes place at Orange Lodges. If any case should arise in which evidence of intimidation is afforded, it will be considered with a view to a prosecution. In this case, I am informed that Mulligan has intimated his intention of placing the matter in the hands of his solicitor, for the purpose of taking proceedings under the Corrupt Practices Act.

MR. O'KELLY (Roscommon, N.)

I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will consider the advisability of sending his secret police into the meetings of Orange Lodges?

MR. J. O'CONNOR (Tipperary, S.)

I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will not consider the advisability of sending the police to the meetings of Orange Lodges in the same way as they had been sent to open meetings of the Irish National League?

[No reply.]