HC Deb 06 August 1888 vol 329 cc1689-90
MR. BYRON REED (Bradford, E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been drawn to the following paragraph in The Kerry Sentinel, of August 1— Some years ago a man, named Edmund Walsh, was evicted from his holding, at Gale, by Lord Ormathwaite, for failing to pay an exorbitant rack-rent. The exact circumstances under which Forhan became the owner of Walsh's evicted farm some time subsequent to the eviction are not known, but Forhan was, ever since he took the farm, regarded as a landgrabber, and to a certain extent treated as such; whether he has any information as to the character of the treatment here referred to; whether, in consequence of it, Forhan had been afforded police protection; and, whether that protection was being still afforded to him at the time of his murder?


(who replied) said: The Inspector General of Constabulary reports that Thomas, not Edmund, Walsh, was evicted from his holding in April, 1883, for non-payment of three years' rent. Forhan took the farm about 10 months afterwards, and was thereupon treated as a landgrabber and Boycotted. No one would buy from him; no one would work for him; no one would associate with or even speak to him. In consequence of this he had police protection for about a year, when at his own request it was withdrawn. This personal protection was not subsequently renewed; but police patrols ambushed occasionally at night in the neighbourhood of Forhan's residence.


asked, if the hon. and learned Gentleman would state what protection the Government were prepared to extend in future to persons living under such circumstances?


remarked that each case must depend upon the circumstances. It was obviously impossible to make any general statement.


asked, if the Solicitor General was award that it was shown in evidence before the Bessborough Commission that the Poor Law valuation of the farm was £22, and that the rent was £66; whether it was not the fact that the tenant, before the eviction, offered to pay the rent less the law costs; whether the National League in the district was suppressed about a year ago, and that the full powers of the Crimes Act were applied; and, whether the Government did not agree that the suppression of the League tended to the promotion of crime instead of preventing it?


said, he had no special information as to the fact relating to the eviction. If the hon. Gentleman desired he would inquire.