HC Deb 14 April 1887 vol 313 cc873-5
MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the Reverend Mathew Macaulay, Presbyterian minister of Castleblayney, in the County Monaghan, has resigned his congregation, of which he has had spiritual charge for upwards of 30 years; whe- ther it has come to the knowledge of the police of the locality that the reverend gentleman was, while driving with his wife in the neighbourhood of Castleblayney last July, attacked by an Orange drumming party, and subjected to gross insults; whether, subsequently to this occurrence on the 11th July, his church was broken into, and otherwise desecrated; whether, in consequence of these occurrences, the then Chief Secretary directed that police protection should be given to Mr. Macaulay; whether a reward was offered for information that would load to a conviction of the desecrators of the church; whether any prosecution or conviction resulted; whether it has come to the knowledge of the police that any members of the local Orange Society canvassed Mr. Macaulay's congregation, for the purpose of inducing them to refrain from paying him the usual stipend; whether it was in consequence of this that he was obliged to resign, or from what other cause; and, whether the police can give any reason for this alleged combination against the Rev. Mr. Macaulay; and, if not, will he cause them to inquire into, and report upon, all the circumstances of the case?

MR. SINCLAIR (Falkirk, &c.)

said, before the right hon. Gentleman answered he wished to ask him a further Question of which he had given him private Notice. It was this—If it was not impossible for a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland to resign his charge without the consent of the General Assembly; and was it not the case that the Rev. Mr. Macaulay had memorialized the General Assembly to allow him to resign on the plea of advanced years, being over 70 years of age; that the General Assembly appointed a Commission with power to deal with the Memorial, and that the Commission decided to allow Mr. Macaulay to resign; further, that the major part of the Rev. Mr. Macaulay's income was not derived from stipend, but from a grant out of the Sustentation Fund, and that he still continued to receive such a grant as an aged minister from the funds of the Church?


In reply to the Question on the Paper, I understand that the Rev. Mr. Macaulay has resigned his charge, and also that he and his wife were attacked by a drumming party, but no injury was sustained by them. The rev. gentleman declined to give the names of the persons who attacked him, and no further steps will, therefore, be taken in the matter Police protection was given to the Rev. Mr. Macaulay at his request. The church was not broken into; but access was gained by means of keys, and orange lilies were tied on the walls. No reward was offered, nor was there any prosecution. The police have no knowledge of any local members of the Orange Society canvassing the congregation for the purpose of inducing them to enter into a combination. As regards that part of the Question which asks whether the rev. gentleman was forced to resign in consequence of that combination, it will be clear from the Question put to me by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Sinclair) that that was not the reason.

MR. O'HANLON (Cavan, E.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman say if this was one of the cases of Boycotting referred to in his speech?


As far as I am able to judge there was no case of Boycotting in the matter. I understand the cause of his resignation was because of his advanced age.

Ms. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, so far from a reward not being offered in connection with the desecration of the meeting-house, a copy of the notice offering a reward was sent to the Constabulary, who refused to exhibit it?


said, he could give no further information than that contained in his answer.