§ MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that John O'Donnell, James Corrigan, and Edward Encela, of Achill, were served with Civil Bills for mountain grazing by C. B. O. Sweeny, who is also 1153 Major Richard Pike's bailiff; that Civil Bills were served after time (on 4th instead of 3rd instant, the last day), so as to prevent entry by defendants of processes; that defendants travelled 40 miles on, and same back, to Quarter Sessions at Westport, on 10th instant, in hopes to explain their case to County Court Judge Richards, and request an adjournment until Civil Bills would be served in proper time, and an opportunity of entry for defence afforded them; that, on walking up before the Judge and endeavouring to explain their case, the officer of the Court and a policeman ordered them away, and the solicitor employed on their behalf declined to address the Judge for them, stating it was a rule of Court that, as the Civil Bills were not entered, he (the solicitor) had no locus standi on their behalf; and, whether the Government intend to take any action?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I understand that the Civil Bill processes were served on 3rd June by the Civil Bill officer referred to, who is also bailiff on Major Pike's estate. This gave the defendants time to defend, as the Quarter Sessions did not open until the 10th. The County Court Judge, after hearing evidence as to service of the processes, and being satisfied thereon, gave decrees against the defendants on 12th June. One of the defendants (O'Donnell) appeared in Court and was heard by the Judge, who saw no reason to alter his decision in the cases. The officer of the Court did not interfere with O'Donnell during the hearing of his case. When the next case was called he asked O'Donnell to stand aside, his case having been disposed of. No policeman interfered with him. The defendants' solicitor said in Court that he could not be heard as the defence in the cases was late for entry. Two of the defendants travelled about 30 miles to Westport Sessions, but did not return, as they went on to England. The third defendant did not attend at all. There does not appear to be anything in the matter calling for action on the part of the Government.