HC Deb 18 April 1890 vol 343 cc802-3

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, with reference to the trial and conviction at the recent Derry Assizes of the parties found guilty under "The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1887," for offences in the nature of intimidation and boycotting, as to which it was alleged that the greater number of the jury who tried the prisoners were Orangemen, ho has been able to make inquiries as to the truth of such allegation; whether his attention has been called to the declaration signed by the whole of the jury engaged in such trial in the following terms:— We, the undersigned members of the jury in the case of the boycotting of the Great Northern Railway at Carrickmacross, beg to say that we are not Orangemen, nor have we ever had any connection with the institution; and whether he has reason to believe in the truthfulness of such declaration?


The trial referred to was under the ordinary law. I have no official information as to the religious denomination or particular party to which jurors may belong. But my attention has been called to the declaration in the public Press mentioned by my hon. Friend, in which all the members of the jury engaged in the trial referred to deny specifically as a matter of fact the allegation that any of them happened at the time or previously to belong to the Orange Institution. I have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of such declaration.


As the Society is a secret one, what reason can the right hon. Gentleman have either one way or the other? Is he not aware of the secret nature of the organisation of the Orange Society?

*MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

Is there any reason to believe that, if the gentlemen referred to had been members of the Orange Institution, they would have disregarded the sanctity of their oath?


I feel quite unequal to answering all these questions. I know nothing of the constitution of the Orange Society. What I said was that I had no reason to doubt the truth of the declaration made by the jury.

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