§ Mr. O'MALLEY
asked the Chief Secretary if his attention has been drawn to a statement by the Rev. J. B. Shee, M.A., at a meeting of the Church Education Society held in Dublin on 28th April, that on the Tuesday night of the previous week the school (Protestant or Church mission school) was stoned from 10 o'clock for two hours and the occupants waiting with hatchets and razors behind the door; that on another occasion he himself had his coat torn off and he had had to fight; that last summer, whilst taking photographs, he was blackguarded first, and because he said to the man that he should not use such language he was hit across the face and about 50 people rushed upon him, and that he had a coat and a piece of his ear gone; and to his further statements calculated to blacken the character of his Catholic neighbours and attributing their conduct to the action of the Catholic clergymen of the district; and whether an inquiry, through the police or otherwise, will be instituted in order to ascertain the truth of these charges?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have seen a newspaper report of the statement in question, and, judging by the laughter with which it appears to have been greeted by those present it can, I think, hardly have been intended to be taken seriously. The police have, however, made inquiries with regard to the matters referred to, and it would appear from their report that the highly-coloured account of an attack on the schoolhouse was based on a statement of a schoolteacher that she thought she heard stones thrown at her window. The Rev. Mr. Shee no doubt came to blows on one occasion with some rough fish-curers, but it appears to have been largely his own fault, and in no way due to the fact that he was a Protestant clergyman.