HC Deb 06 April 1897 vol 48 cc636-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether his attention has been directed to the complaint, publicly made by the Roman Catholic Administrator of Mullingar, at the meeting of the Labourers' Houses Committee, of the insulting language used on the Bench in the Petty Sessions Court of Mullingar by the resident magistrate, Major O'Brien, towards the priesthood of the town; and (2) whether it is the intention of the authorities to transfer this official to some other locality?


My right hon. Friend bus communicated on the subject of this Question with Major O'Brien, who is quite unconscious of having used at any time language to which the description in the first paragraph could apply. The hon. Member apparently has in view a report which appeared in a local newspaper of a case heard before Major O'Brien on the 13th March, when a man named Gorry was prosecuted by the police for assaulting his wife, and Major O'Brien is alleged to have said to defendant either, "Don't mind what Father O'Reilly says at all," or. "Don't mind what Father O'Reilly said, as it is not evidence." Both of these remarks had reference to the legal objection to hearsay evidence, and could not be construed as disrespectful towards a clergyman or any other person concerned. The reply to the second paragraph is in the negative.