§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he could give any information as to very serious events which had occurred on Tuesday, and which were repeated yesterday, in connection with some evictions instituted by Lord Clanricarde at Loughrea.
I am sorry to say that there were serious disturbances in the town of Loughrea yesterday, arising out of the resistance offered to the carrying out of an eviction from a place of business —a store and shop. The eviction was completed as regards the store, but not as regards the shop. There were a good many stones thrown. Some of the police were hurt, although, I trust, not seriously, and windows were broken. Except that there is a certain amount of commotion in the town to-day I am not informed at this moment as to what has actually passed.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
asked whether, with reference to this eviction, Lord Clanricarde's agent had not declared in a published document that the person evicted was a tenant who had given him every satisfaction, but as secretary of the Loughrea branch of the United Irish League he begged to give him notice of eviction; whether in these circumstances the Government felt justified in spending large sums of the taxpayers' money in affording the assistance of the forces of the Crown to carry out these proceedings.
It is perfectly true, as far as my information goes, that a letter to that effect, and I think almost in those words, was written by Lord Clanricarde's agent to Mr. Martin Ward. I took the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown when I heard that this eviction was going to come off. I was informed by them—and I also read the cases on the subject—that it was the absolute duty of the Executive to give assistance in the case of these evictions. That appears to have been affirmed by the Court in two cases, and I am so advised. In the circumstances I consider that I had no option—no executive discretion whatever.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
gave notice to call further attention to the subject on the Motion for adjournment.