HL Deb 04 June 1886 vol 306 cc1005-6

asked the Lord President of the Council, Whether it is the fact that five milch cows, the property of Patrick Kerin, a farmer, had been mutilated at Dromonin, their ears and tails cut off, and the legs of two broken, punctured wounds, from which the blood flowed, being also visible on their hides; whether the causes assigned are either that Kerin had paid his rent or that he had put his cattle on boycotted land: and, further, if the above facts are true, whether any persons have been made amenable, or what steps are being taken to bring the persons implicated to justice? These outrages upon animals disgraced Ireland. The noble Earl (Earl Spencer) had quoted statistics showing an improved condition, as he contended, in Ireland; but it was impossible from statistics to gather whether the condition of the country had improved or not. An explanation of the fact that the figures did not show an increase in crime might be found in the fact that very few people were now found with courage sufficient to resist the mandates of the National League. People were compelled to do their bidding, right or wrong. Notwithstanding this, outrages upon cattle were of almost daily occurrence; and he saw that, only last night, a caretaker was shot by Moonlighters. Only those who lived in the country could have any idea of the state of things which existed there. Noble Lords would agree with him that the matter required the earliest and serious attention of the Government.


said, he would confine himself merely to the Question on the Paper of Business, as he was not cognizant of the latest reported outrage, excepting from what he had read in the newspapers. The outrage mentioned in the Question was not of that barbarous character indicated. The animals were not milch cows, but calves; the legs were not broken, neither were their ears or tails cut off, nor their hides punctured. No injury was inflicted on any part of their bodies, and in four out of the six cases only the hair was removed. The police were making diligent inquiries in order to trace the perpetrators, and had some clue; but it would not be in the interests of justice that he should give any details at present. As far as he was able to judge, the outrage was not attributable to any such cause as that mentioned by the noble Earl.

House adjourned at Eight o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter past Four o'clock.