HC Deb 29 March 1886 vol 304 cc105-6

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Was it reported to the police, that, on the night of 21st December last, a man disguised and with his face blackened visited the houses of John Armstrong, Jonathan Colbert, Thomas Armstrong, Samuel Somerville, John Macwhinny, and William M'Kenna, near Castlecaulfield, county Tyrone; is it the fact that the man had a book with him, from which he pretended to read, and in which he seemed to make entries; that he asked who lived in each house, and for whom he had voted at the late election; said he was from Dublin and had other boys with him; that he told them to pay no rent, or, if they did, they would not have long to live; whether, when he came to the house of M'Kenna, he said, "All right, you are a Nationalist," and, pointing to a schoolhouse, which had been an Orange Lodge, said, "That must be removed;" was he hunted down and captured by two men named Bunnes and Armstrong, and did it transpire that he was an Orangeman named Robert Cuddy, junior; is it true that Cuddy and his father were brought by the police before a local justice, Colonel Burgess, and discharged without a prosecution; and, was the case reported, to the resident magistrate, and have any steps been taken to punish the author of this outrage; and, if not, who is responsible?


In connection with this case I have received from Colonel Burgess a repudiation of his having acted with any spirit of partizanship in the matter. I have also received from the Inspector General a Report which puts the affair in a rather serious light; and I have accordingly laid the papers before the Attorney General for his decision as to whether a prosecution should be instituted against Robert Cuddy, jun. I shall then consider what further action the circumstances of the case call for.


Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to submit the action of Colonel Burgess to the Lord Chancellor?


I have no doubt that what Colonel Burgess did will at the same time come within the purview of the inquiry.