HC Deb 08 August 1889 vol 339 cc784-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to the circumstances attending the eviction of William Harnett (aged 87) on Friday last, near Abbeyfeale, County Limerick, on the estate of Mr. James Esmonde, J.P., when Dr. Bolster, who attended at the request of the authorities, declared Harnett's life in danger, and ordered that he should not be removed, and the Rev. William Casey, P.P., who was present for the purpose of administering the last sacrament to Harnett, was twice forcibly prevented by order of District Inspector Rice; and will District Inspector Rice be directed not to prevent a clergyman having access to one of his parishioners under similar circumstances?


The Rev. William Casey twice refused to go outside the police cordon along with the rest of the people assembled, unless removed by force. When removed he subsequently tried to force his way through the cordon. He was prevented, as there was no necessity for his presence. Harnett was not removed, his family were, but at once re-admitted as caretakers. Every consideration was shown to the tenant and his family in the carrying out of the eviction, and Mrs. Harnett thanked the District Inspector for the kindness shown.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if his attention has been called to a letter published by Father Casey, in which the rev. gentleman states that the daughter called him to administer the sacrament to her dying parent, that he was again pushed back by Mr. Wright, the Inspector, and when the Inspector seem disposed by his entreaties to allow him, a policeman with fixed bayonet rushed up and reminded him of the orders that had been given? Will the right hon. Gentleman grant an inquiry so that Father Casey can give evidence?


No, Sir; I see no reason for an inquiry.

MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

Had the right hon. Gentleman this case before him when he declared that the relations between the constabulary and the people had improved?


Order, order!