HC Deb 11 April 1889 vol 335 cc235-7
MR. W. A. MACDONALD (Queen's County, Ossory)

I wish to ask Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland whether he can cite the terms of the notices, for publishing which Mr. Conlan, proprietor of the Carlow Nationalist, is now in prison?


It appears from the report of the proceedings in Mr. Conlan's case that the following passages, among others, were relied on on the part of the prosecution:—The Chairman said he would turn to the subject of the coming evictions— I ask how many Neill Doogans will there be on the estate; will the tenants barricade their houses? Of course it means six months' imprisonment, but one house defended as Doogan's or O'Donnell's is worth more to the cause than the quiet eviction of 5,000 people. There was a mistake in the policy carried out at the former eviction here, and the people that went out may be open to the taunt that they did nothing themselves. Mr. Moore: They went as far as they were asked to go. The Chairman; Exactly; though, as I said before, it was, great mistake to go out so quietly. Again, the Chairman— referred to the fact of the children from the square and the locality around associating with he emergency children, and said it was a shame. The Chairman also referred to the fact of the— Campaigners, or a good many of them, dealing in the one shop with the emergency men; it was monstrous that after eight years of agitation and speech-making people would not have spirit enough to act from their own sense of right. If their leaders were cognizant of the fact that Campaigners and emergency men Stood shoulder to shoulder in Mrs. Evan's shop they would simply cut off their supplies, and very justly.


This is a very grave matter, and I must, Sir, with your permission, press it a little.. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman recollect that on Friday week he told the House Mr. Conlan was not imprisoned for publishing the proceedings of an unsuppressed branch of the National League but for publishing an incitement to break the law, and that last Thursday he told the House he was imprisoned for publishing notices, the character of which he did not define. Are we now to understand if the suggestion implied in my original question was correct, and that Mr. Conlan was imprisoned for publishing a speech made by another person at the usual fortnightly meeting of an unsuppressed branch of the League, the report having been published as an ordinary item. of news, and with the discharge of Mr. Conlan's duty as a public journalist?


I stated correctly on a former occasion that Mr. Con Ian was ordered to find sureties to keep the peace for certain publications which in the summonses were called notices, and which the Magistrates held amounted to an incitement to break the law.


Did not the hon. and. learned Gentleman say Mr. Conlan was imprisoned for publishing, not only the report of the meeting, but also the notices?


I said that these notices were embodied in the report, but that did not make them legal.


Was the proceeding under the Statute of Edward III.?


The summons was apparently founded on the statute referred to; but, as I have already pointed out the Magistrates have jurisdiction in such a case under the Commission of the Peace, and I believe their order was made in virtue of that jurisdiction.