22. Captain CRAIG
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Mr. J. D. Crosbie, of Ballyheigue Castle, county Kerry, attended a Unionist demonstration at Tralee on 11th September and seconded the resolution protesting against the Home Rule Bill, and that Mr. Crosbie has sold his estate to his tenants, who live 745 at Ballyheigue Castle; whether he has a large farm and employs a good deal of labour; whether he is aware that a meeting was held at Tralee on 24th November in commemoration of the death of Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien, who were hanged for the murder of Police Constable Brett at Manchester, and addressed by John M'Bride, an employé of the Dublin Corporation, and others; that violent language was used by the speakers at that meeting; that shortly afterwards a large rick of hay, the property of Mr. Crosbie, was fired in the yard of Ballyheigue Castle; and that on the following night the cattle shed and two more ricks of hay in the yard, half a mile from the castle, were also fired; will he say what is the loss arising from the fires; whether any arrests have been made, and what steps he proposes to take to protect Unionists who take part in demonstrations from intimidation of this character; and in what way he proposes to encourage landowners who have sold to remain in Ireland?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The police authorities inform me that on the night of the 1st instant a large hay shed containing 50 tons of hay, the property of Mr. Crosbie, was set on fire in the yard of Ballyheigue Castle, and on the following night two more hay sheds, containing 150 tons of hay, were set on fire. The damage is assessed at £1,000, and a claim for compensation has been made. The police, however, have no reason to believe that the burning of the hay has any connection with either Mr. Crosbie's attendance at the Unionist meeting at Tralee, or with the language used at the meeting held at Tralee on 24th November. The police are pursuing their inquiries, but so far have not been able to obtain any evidence to justify an arrest. All necessary protection has been and will be afforded to all persons requiring it.
§ Mr. FLAVIN
Is there any evidence of any feeling in any part of North Kerry as to the unpopularity of this gentleman?