HC Deb 05 February 1900 vol 78 cc589-90

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain on what grounds the Lord Chancellor recently removed from the Commission of the Peace for the county of Tipperary Mr. Kendal C. O'Brien, who held his commission ex-officio as Chairman of the Tipperary Rural District No. 1; is he aware that Mr. O'Brien subsequently resigned his chairmanship, but was again elected to that office; and will he explain why, when Mr. O'Brien on his re-election applied to be sworn in as a Justice of the Peace, the Lord Chancellor declined to issue the writ of dedimus, but issued a second writ of supersession.


In answer to the first paragraph of the question, the Lord Chancellor, in his letter of the 25th November sent to Mr. O'Brien, stated that he removed Mr. O'Brien from the Commission of the Peace for having been guilty of conduct inconsistent with his position as a Justice in having, at a time when the forces of Her Majesty were engaged in warlike operations in South Africa, at a meeting of the Tipperary (No. 1) District Council, put from the chair a resolution offering encouragement to the Boer enemies of Her Majesty and expressing a hope that they would have a complete triumph; and in having on a second occasion seconded, and supported by a speech, a resolution in the following terms, namely— That we congratulate the people of the South African Republic on what now turns out to be the victory of Glencoe over the same enemy that governs Ireland by force; and that we desire to place on record our admiration of those Irishmen under Colonel Blake and Mr. McBride, who are fighting for the Republic, and who truly represent Irish National opinion, notwithstanding the fact that some thoughtless, ignorant and dispirited young Irishmen are always to be found bearing arms for England; and that we trust complications may arise which will mark their unjust and shameful attempt to destroy a free people as the beginning of the end of England's political career. The fact is as stated in the second paragraph. The Lord Chancellor refused to regard the causes in respect of which Mr. O'Brien was removed from the Commission on the 25th November as being ended by the time which since elapsed, or by the form of proceedings to which Mr. O'Brien has had recourse. The Lord Chancellor thereupon again removed Mr. O'Brien from the Commission of the Peace.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what object is gained by thus stifling public opinion in Ireland?


Order, order! The hon. Member is now arguing.