§ 5. £37,641, to complete the sum for Law Charges and Criminal Prosecutions, Ireland.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
said, he wished on this Vote to call attention to several matters. The first was the case of Katie Walsh who had been attacked in a very violent manner, and whose reason was stated to have given way in consequence of the attack. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. J. Morley) had stated in answer to a question that the police had no reason to believe that the aberration of intellect had resulted from any personal attack which had been made upon her. It appeared from a communication which he (Mr. Macartney) had received that the 66 girl had had a dispute with some of her neighbours, and had made an accusation of a somewhat grave character against another girl. A good deal of feeling had been engendered amongst the friends and relatives of both parties, and the girl Walsh had been attacked by three or four men who tried to throw her over a cliff. It was stated that one of the persons who made the attack was a well-known character in the neighbourhood. There had during this spring and summer been a series of brutal assaults in this neighbourhood arising out of private quarrels, and these assaults were believed, to have increased from the fact that those who had been guilty of them had received at the local Petty Sessions punishments which were not at all commensurate with the offences. He would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he was still of opinion that there was no ground for supposing that the intellect of the girl was disturbed by the attack? The next case he wished to refer to was connected with Colonel O'Callaghan's estate. On the 30th of July he had asked the right hon. Gentleman a question with regard to a placard headed "Vengeance," which had been extensively posted in the neighbourhood of Colonel O'Callaghan's residence. The reply was that ample police protection had been given to Colonel O'Callaghan, and that no harm had been done by the posting of the placard. As a matter of fact, however, Colonel O'Callaghan had not been able to sell his meadowing, which he had been accustomed to sell, and he had been boycotted in Smithfield Market. All his (Mr. Macartney's) information led him to believe that the attacks on Colonel O'Callaghan had followed the speeches made by one of the Members for Clare at Bodyke on the 8th of July. On the 15th of July notices were posted in the neighbourhood threatening with death anybody who bought meadowing from Colonel O'Callaghan. On the 22nd of July the placard headed "Vengeance" was extensively posted, and on the 2nd of August it was again largely posted. Colonel O'Callaghan's son, who had nothing to do with the dispute, and was on excellent terms with his own tenantry and with the great majority of his father's tenantry, had been boycotted, having found it impossible the day after the second posting of the placard to sell 67 some meadowing he had advertised for sale. Colonel O'Callaghan's son was of opinion that the persons who had posted the placards were perfectly well known to the authorities in the district, and that if more active measures were taken it would be quite easy to prevent a recrudescence of boycotting in the district. There was another matter he wished to call attention to. On the 3rd of August last there appeared a paragraph in The Tuam News from its Ballinasloe correspondent stating that a certain Paddy Healy had taken a grazing on an evicted farm, that this was a wanton violation of Land League principles, and that everyone was asking why a meeting was not got up. He (Mr. Macartney) wished to know whether if the facts were as stated the man who was threatened would receive every protection from the authorities? The last case he wished to bring forward was in connection with the eviction of John Bridgeman in County Limerick. The evicted tenant in this case had nothing to do with the Plan of Campaign. He owed three years' rent, and was evicted for a decree of £106. After the eviction proceedings had been abandoned and resistance had been offered to the Sheriff, the police declined to give him assistance. While the disturbance was going on the Sheriff sent a special messenger to the police barracks, but assistance was refused him. The right hon. Gentleman would not contend that the police were justified in refusing assistance because the barracks were not in the district where the breach of law occurred. It would be impossible for the right hon. Gentleman to find any authority for such a proposition. The right hon. Gentleman had no official legal adviser in the House, but if he would consult any authority on crime in Ireland he would find that there was nothing to justify the action of the Constabulary. The right hon. Gentleman had told him (Mr. Macartney) that prosecutions might be instituted, and in that case he should like to know who was being prosecuted. There was just another case to which he would refer. It was a case which was made the subject of a question by the hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Stephen's Green on Monday last—a case where a meeting was held in County Roscommon to denounce a man who had taken an evicted farm, and where strong 68 language, to the effect that the man was a reptile, and that an eye should be kept on the shopkeepers with whom he dealt, was used by a person who was a Justice of the Peace and by others. The Chief Secretary, speaking from the information which had been supplied to him, had given the hon. Member to understand that not much damage was done to this man, and that police protection had been afforded. He (Mr. Macartney), however, had since heard that all his men had left him but two. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the speech of the Justice of the Peace would be referred to the Lord Chancellor, and the other speeches to the Irish Law Advisers of the Crown. What action had the Lord Chancellor taken, and what did the Irish Government propose to do in the other cases? There were one or two other matters on which he should have liked to have spoken, but at that hour of the evening he would not detain the Committee.
MR. J. MORLEY (who was almost inaudible in the Reporters' Gallery)
was understood to say that as to the last case mentioned by the hon. Member he had not yet received a reply from the Lord Chancellor with regard to the action of the Magistrate, but, as to the other language used at the meeting, the Law Officers advised him that the evidence before them would not sustain a prosecution. In answer to the question whether the protection given to the holder of the evicted farm was adequate, he had to say that the police authorities in this and all cases acted upon a uniform instruction—namely, that they were to spare no effort to secure protection, and rather to-over-protect than expose persons to any risk. As he had stated on former occasions, the fact that the present Government had determined to govern Ireland without exceptional repressive laws made it all the more obligatory on them to see that the ordinary law was put into full force and carried out with the utmost vigilance and resolution. That had been the policy of the Government in the past, and it would continue to be their policy in the future. As to the case of the Sheriff who had been engaged in carrying out evictions in Limerick, and to whom it was said that the police had refused protection, the question was whether this officer not having taken the 69 trouble to secure for himself due and full protection had a right to send messengers to the barrack, which it appeared was in another district, for assistance, and then and there, though there did not appear to be a tumult, the assault, or whatever it was, being over, demand police aid. As he understood it, the plea for the constabulary not going to the aid of the Sheriff was not a very good one. No doubt cases might arise where constables might go outside their districts, but, as he understood, no representation was made to the effect that disorder of any magnitude was taking place. He would make further inquiries into the matter.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
said, that as the right hon. Gentleman was going to make further inquiries he should like to know what was the rule in these cases where police assistance was requested from outside districts in the case of a person being assaulted. He had never in his life heard of a rule under which such assistance would be refused.
MR. J. MORLEY
said, he would see into the matter. If, in their view, the police ought to have given the assistance demanded they would communicate with him in that sense. He rather thought they were within their rights. The hon. Gentleman asked who were to be prosecuted. He was not able to give the names just now.
MR. J. MORLEY
I am not sure. As to the case based on a paragraph in The, Tuam News, he could only say that he had not heard of it before, but he would make inquiries. Then there was the case of Katie Walsh. He had read through all the details this morning, and must say it was obscure in certain particulars. She had been bathing. Subsequently she had an altercation with some people, and was found on the edge of the cliff talking in a rambling way. Whether her condition was due to an attack upon her was not clear; at any rate, the police did not see their way to take proceedings against any one. With regard to the alleged boycotting of Colonel O'Callaghan's sheep, it was said that 70 they were followed by Malone from Clare to another town, but that was not the case.
MR. J. MORLEY
said, in his Report it was stated "on the day mentioned," and he did not know whether that was on the 3rd of August or not. But it appeared that 28 sheep were sold, 18 for 30s. each, and 10 for 37s. each, prices which suggested that they were sold at a fair market value. The buyer stated that no person spoke to him or interfered with him in any way in the transaction. Malone had only just returned from England, and he remained near the pen because a friend of his who was a regular client of the salemaster had some cattle for sale on the same stand. No one informed the police that they saw Malone following the Colonel or speaking to him. So much for the transaction of the cattle, and the presence of Malone. The next point was about the constable Colonel O'Callaghan appealed to, and who declined to interfere. It appeared that the constable was outside the market, and was a young constable who only joined the Force in Februrary last; he was very confused in his statement. It might be assumed the allegations in paragraph 3 were not correct. Malone had previously been bound over to keep the peace as stated in paragraph 2, that was quite true. With regard to the last paragraph, protection was given, and would be given, to the rights of salemasters in this or any other market, He would take the opinion of the Law Officers as to what extent interference would justify action by the police, and that opinion would be acted upon in case there should be boycotting at markets. Every person who took cattle to market, whatever his position, had equal rights, and those rights would be secured.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
said, he was much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his statement, though there was a most extraordinary discrepancy between the statement of the right hon. Gentleman and the information that he (Mr. Macartney) had obtained. He did 71 not throw any doubt upon the right hon. Gentleman's statement, but he would make further inquiries into the matter, and if he had been misinformed he would at once communicate with the right hon. Gentleman.
MR. J. MORLEY
said, he might say further that he was not quite satisfied with the police Report, and wished to hear the whole story, therefore he gave instructions for the salemaster to be seen and questioned upon the matter. It would, therefore, be seen that he had taken some trouble in this matter in order to arrive at the true particulars, and he thought it would be found that he had given the right story.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ The following Votes were agreed to:—
- 6. £65,800, to complete the sum for Supreme Court of Judicature and other Legal Departments in Ireland.
- 7. £34,662, to complete the sum for Irish Land Commission.
- 8. £63,879, to complete the sum for County Court Officers, &c., Ireland.
- 9. £59,222, to complete the sum for Dublin Metropolitan Police.
- 10. £668,249, to complete the sum for Constabulary, Ireland.
- 11. £71,021, to complete the sum for Prisons, Ireland.
- 12. £56,095, to complete the sum for Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Ireland.
§ MR. KNOX (Cavan, W.)
said, there was one point he would like to raise on this Vote, and which was a point that he had brought before the attention of the right hon. Gentleman before. He thought this Vote was a little out of proportion to a similar Vote for England. While in some parts of Ireland the Vote in aid was sufficient, in Belfast there would be found, if the right lion. Gentleman would inquire into it during the coming recess, an urgent need for some further provision for industrial schools. The Catholic community there, as had been explained to the right hon. Gentleman before, had done all they could to provide an industrial school. They were not over-burdened with wealth, but they had spent a considerable sum in acquiring suitable premises for the extension of 72 their industrial schools, which were greatly needed in an industrial town like Belfast, but it was a lamentable fact that the excellent premises that had been provided for the purpose were lying vacant and useless because a certificate could not be granted. The Grand Jury of Antrim was quite willing to give the increased grant from the county, and the Catholics in the district would supplement that by their subscriptions. Last year the right hon. Gentleman made some difficulty in consequence of an increase being made in another part of Ulster, and he trusted that in the coming recess the right hon. Gentleman would inquire into the case, and see if this was not an exceptional case that justified a certificate.
MR. J. MORLEY
said, he remembered very well the deputation that was good enough to wait upon him on this subject, and he admitted that the case did present to his mind some hardship, but, as the hon. and learned Gentleman well knew, in these matters they had to be on their guard, and were constantly advised that they must refuse the certificates for these schools because money was not more abundantly forthcoming. He would undertake to inquire into the matter to which his hon. and learned Friend referred and see what he could do.
§ MR. SEXTON
said, it was true that the Vote for these schools was relatively high, but it was also true that the taxation was very high, and therefore there were two or three matters that should be kept in mind by the right hon. Gentleman in regard to this application. One of those was the great poverty of Ireland, and another was that the cost of the State for prosecutions and the maintenance of prisoners had been greatly reduced in the course of the last 20 years by the operation of these schools. School children who were in danger of falling into crime had been received into these schools, the result being that £1 was saved for every 1s. expended on these schools, and these were circumstances that should not be left out of view, and were of much greater moment than the amount of the Vote. When the right hon. Gentleman came into Office he presented this case to him, and he had presented it to the late Government, who, when they went out of Office, had almost 73 reached the point when they were willing to conclude what, was desired. He not only pressed the right hon. Gentleman but introduced subsequently a deputation from Belfast, which included the Rev. James Hannon, the master of the school. He thought it was a very hard case, as this was a community in Belfast overcrowded with Catholic children in a city where the Catholics, by reason of the peculiar bitterness of sectarian feeling there, and by reason of the spirit in the county, were placed in a position of considerable disadvantage. He thought it was hard upon a community who, at an expenditure of £3,000 or £4,000, had secured a, suitable house and grounds within two or three miles from the city where the children might be taken with advantage to their bodily and physical health, and who had done it on the faith of something like a promise from the Inspector of Industrial Schools in Ireland. If the certificate were granted it would undoubtedly save the State a burden of at least £500 a, year; and the grant from the State was a very small matter as compared with the great benefits that would result from it. He would say no more than that the refusal had caused him great disappointment and great regret, but he hoped the words that had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman to-night would be found to have some substantial force.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 13. £3,822, to complete the sum for Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Ireland.