HC Deb 15 May 1907 vol 174 cc970-1

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that on 1st May a number of persons assembled on the farm of Batty O'Brien at Clooniskert, county Roscommon, and drove his cattle on to the public road, to force O'Brien to give up his grazing farm for distribution amongst the neighbouring farmers; whether the police were present during the proceedings; whether they have summoned any of those who took part therein; and, if so, with what result.


On May 1st a number of persons assembled on a grazing farm occupied by Mr. O'Brien and drove the cattle from it to that gentleman's residence. I am informed that Mr. O'Brien had arranged to give the farm up for distribution among local tenants, and had appointed the 1st of May as the day on which he would surrender the farm. He failed, however, to appear on that day, and the people therefore took his cattle to his residence. It appears that the landlord had refused to release Mr. O'Brien from his tenancy. The police were present when the cattle were driven off, but in the circumstances mentioned it has not been considered necessary to institute criminal proceedings.


Was the agreement to give up this farm the direct result of intimidation or boycotting by the local branch of the United Irish League?


I am afraid I cannot answer as to the motives which led to the giving up of the farm. No doubt a certain amount of intimidation and pressure was used.

MR. MOORE (Armagh, N.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman confer with the Secretary of State for India as to the best means of putting down intimidation in Ireland?