HC Deb 23 February 1888 vol 322 cc1220-2
MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether on Friday, 17th February, Daniel M'Mahon, Thomas Moroney, John Sexton, and eight others were, by Mr. Cecil Roche, R.M., and Mr. Mercer, R.M., sent to prison for one month for refusing to supply refreshments to the police on the occasion of a recent trial in Miltown-Malbay; whether the magistrates refused to increase the sentence so as to admit of an appeal; whether he is aware that the public houses kept by the defendants were closed on the date in question in response to an earnest request from the Rev. W. White, parish priest, made with a view of preventing a repetition of disorder which had arisen during previous trials of a like nature; and, whether it was admitted in evidence that the constabulary had in their barracks on the day in question all needful refreshments?

THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN)(who replied) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)

said: It is the case that the three defendants named, together with the eight others referred to, were committed to prison for one month, having been found guilty of entering into a conspiracy to Boycott the police by not supplying them with any provisions during two days occupied in the recent trials. The magistrates did refuse to increase the sentence, as they saw no grounds for doing so. They appear, however, to have expressed their readiness to allow the defendants out on their own recognizances, to come up for judgment when called on, provided they would sign an agreement not to enter into an illegal conspiracy again. The defendants in question declined to do so, electing to go to prison. I am aware that the Rev. W. White stated in Court, on oath, that he had told the people to make Miltown-Malbay a city of the dead while the police were there. It may, however, be a matter of opinion whether this direction was given with a view to prevent disorder. It was not admitted in evidence that the police had in their barracks on the day in question all needful refreshments. As a matter of fact, they had not the needful refreshments.

MR. J. E. REDMOND (Wexford, N.)

May I ask a Question of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, arising out of his answer—whether it is not within his knowledge that it is the usual practice for the magistrates themselves to make an order for the publicans to close their houses during trials of this character; that, in addition, whether during the trials which preceded the ones in question the public-houses had not been closed, and that the consequence was that some of the people who came into the town on that day got drink, and that a disturbance took place; and that they were closed on the day in question because the parish priest from the altar asked the publicans, for the sake of the peace of the district, to close their houses so that no drink might be sold?


I am not aware what took place on the occasion of the preceding trials. The only information I have with regard to the Rev. Mr. White and his advice to the publicans was that which I have stated, that Mr. White stated on oath that he advised the people of Miltown-Malbay to make the town a city of the dead when the police were there.


The right hon. and gallant Gentleman has not answered the first part of the Question which I asked, which is, whether it is not the almost invariable custom for the magistrates themselves to issue orders for the publicans to close their houses on occasions of this character?


NO, Sir; to my own personal knowledge it is not the habit or the usual custom.

MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

May I ask the right hon. and gallant Gentleman whether he is aware that on a recent occasion a similar order was made by Lord Kilmorey through his agent, Mr. Henry, to close the public-houses in Kilkeel?


I am aware that such orders are occasionally made. It is quite in the discretion of the magistrates.