HC Deb 14 June 1888 vol 327 cc100-1
MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been directed to a report in The Freeman's Journal of June 6, of the proceedings of a Special Court held at Lanesborough, under the provisions of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, for the trial of prisoners on a charge of intimidation, in which evidence was given by a sergeant of police that he saw the local band drumming before the gate of a Mr. Russell, which was a sign that he was Boycotted; whether it is true, as stated in the report, that Mr. Hill, one of the Resident Magistrates who composed the Court, threatened the prisoners and everyone listening to him that if there were any more drumming at these places, or at evictions, or at Courts, he would have their drums smashed, and every man present sent to gaol for six months; in making use of this threat from the Bench, was Mr. Hill acting in his judicial capacity as a magistrate, or as an agent of the Executive Government; and, is Mr. Hill one of the Resident Magistrates who have been in attendance on the Chief Secretary in Dublin Castle.


The Resident Magistrate reports that the band referred to had, on the occasion of evictions and trials at Petty Sessions, collected disorderly crowds, which interfered with the administration of the law; and he took the first opportunity which was presented by the occasion in question of warning them against continuing their course, and the probable consequences which would ensue should they disregard this warning. He gave this warning advice in his judicial capacity, not as a threat.