§ Mr. LONSDALE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether Patrick Kilbey, a known leader of the persons engaged in recent cattle-drives on the Pollock estate, county Galway, has been personally interviewed on several occasions by the local officer of constabulary, who strongly urged him to use his influence with a view to bring about a cessation of further cattle-drives on the property pending the completion of the negotiations for its sale to the Estates Commissioners; whether the district inspector of constabulary obtained from Kilbey a written undertaking that there would be no repetition of the crime provided the negotiations were completed by a specified date; and whether he will communicate to the House the text of this undertaking?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The sale of this estate to the Estates Commissioners was arranged last year and it was understood that the lands would shortly be distributed. The unexpected delays which subsequently occurred appear to have aroused feelings of disappointment and irritation which culminated in the cattle drives of April last. A force of extra police was at once sent to the district to prevent such misconduct. The district inspector at the same time informed Patrick Kilbey of the true position with regard to the sale, pointed out the illegality of the conduct of the people, and requested him to use 473 his known influence to prevent a recurrence of disorder, which he agreed to do. The result of the action of the district inspector has been satisfactory. Mr. Kilbey wrote to the district inspector, but as the letter is marked "private" its contents cannot be stated. The inspector-general informs me that it contained nothing which the district inspector could not properly accept.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No, Sir, I think the district inspector was simply acting in accordance with his desire to keep the peace in his own locality.