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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Tue 11 Sep 2012 - 8:35

Eighth Day of Proceedings - Thursday, November 1, 1888






I saw
Fog only, the great, tawny, weltering fog
Involve the passive City, strangle it
Alive, and draw it off into the void
Spires, bridges, streets, and squares, as if a sponge
Had wiped out London.

So it was outside. Nor was the scene much brighter inside, where the electric lamps shone through the haze. But for the interest of the O'Shea incident, a good many people might have rejoiced if the fog had also drawn off into the void - where the three Judges Aecus, Minos, and Rhadamanthus administer ghostly justice - this apparently interminable case. This morning the British public appears in much less force - the resumption of the reading of extracts from Parnellite speeches delivered here, there, and everywhere over Ireland during the last nine years not possessing an irresistible fascination for the ordinary mind. Most fortunately, however, today's proceedings were introduced with an announcement of an arrangement come to by the leading counsel on both sides, for the purpose of expediting this portion of the investigation.

Mr. Murphy, Q.C., then proceeded to read out speeches delivered by Mr. Healy, Mr. T.P. O'Connor, and others in the early days of the League - Constable Irwin, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, following him with his shorthand notes. Mr. Irwin, when cross-examined by Sir Charles Russell, gave his evidence in a smiling, confiding, hail-fellow-well-met manner which considerably amused the audience. He persisted in addressing "Sir Charl-es" by name, in spite of Sir Charles Russell's protests. Describing to Sir Charles what his duties were as a Constabulary shorthand writer, he stated that he had never any reason to complain of bad treatment by the crowds and speakers at those Irish meetings.
A most interesting part of the cross-examination was that in which Irwin gave his impression of the state of Ireland in the years 1879-82. It was his impression that the dislike of the Irish peasantry to the constabulary was caused by the participation of the latter in evictions. Evictions apart, there was, he thought, but little animosity displayed by the people towards the constabulary. Sir Charles Russell plied him with a series of questions as to whether evictions increased in proportion to distress in North-Western Ireland in 1879-80; and as to whether the popular discontent increased with the evictions. Irwin replied in the affirmative to both questions. He admitted also that in those disturbed times the League speakers advised moderation and abstention from violence. He was next asked about "Scrab" Nally - as the man has long been nick-named - to whose orations the Attorney-General ascribed so much importance in his opening speech. "Scrab" Nally, said Constable Irwin, was a "wild" man, to whose speeches nobody attributed any importance. He was a "wild" man, who would "say anything," added the witness. Sir Charles Russell's cross-examination was, in fact, assuming a strongly political character. "You say," remarked Sir Charles, "that Clare, Galway, and Kerry were the most disturbed places in Ireland. "Yes"; and Irwin expressed his belief that these were also the places where Secret Societies were strongest - it was also his impression that the places where the Secret Societies existed were also the very places where the Land League leaders found most opposition - most difficulty in inculcating respect for order. Sir Charles appeared pretty well satisfied with all these admissions - more or less reserved - on the witness's part.
The interest in the proceedings certainly did not flag when Mr. Healy rose to cross-examine Constable Irwin. Mr. Healy's object, like Sir Charles Russell's, was to elicit admissions which would go to prove the moderation of the League and its advocacy of good order. The witness admitted that, though there were thousands of League meetings - certainly "ten thousand," as he said - in these days, the numbers of them whose proceedings were reported were exceedingly small, although yet, as the witness also admitted, it was his impression that the League meetings were open and free to everybody. He also described, in short answers to Mr. Healy's questions, how the Irish Grand Juries had the power of fining districts where outrages were committed. Constable Irwin had heard reports to the effect that outrages had been "got up" for the purpose of getting compensation; but he declared that he had not known an instance. Mr. Michael Davitt then rose to put a few questions - the first appearance of the kind on the part of the father of the Land League in an English Court of Justice. Mr. Davitt stood in his accustomed place, on the Solicitor's bench. In a quiet, gentle way he asked Constable Irwin to give the Court a general statement of the drift of his (Mr. Davitt's) speeches at Irish public meetings. Mr. Irwin testified that he heard Mr. Davitt exhorting his countrymen to keep clear of outrage, and declaring that he would gladly flog at the cart's tail any man guilty of maiming cattle.

The Court, reassembling after the usual interval of half-an-hour, the process of verifying Land League speeches was resumed, Sir Henry James reading, and Constable O'Malley (who was recalled after Irwin was dismissed) keeping his eyes on his notes. Sir Charles Russell then followed with his cross-examination, the object of many of his questions being - as in the examination of the previous witness - to elicit the witness's opinions as to the condition of the peasantry.

Mr. Healy then took up the story of "Scrab's" exploits. Mr. O'Malley admitted that he had the honour of drinking with "Scrab" - but then, as he explained, he (Mr. O'Malley) only took teetotal drinks, whereas "Scrab," as the Green Isle knows - and the British Empire now knows - preferred something stronger. "Scrab" hath become a renowned person within the last half-hour. Mr. O'Malley stated that he could not cite any positive cases of crimes following speeches as effects from causes; nor state whether the farmers attended the Land League meetings spontaneously or by intimidation, nor whether a Connemara tenant could make even as much as four or five pounds out of his land; nor declare that he ever knew an instance of an Irish landlord helping a tenant in distress.

The attendance today was not so large as on previous occasions. Business was resumed promptly at half-past ten o'clock.

The counsel for the Times are the Attorney-General (Sir Richard Webster), Sir Henry James, Q.C., Mr. W. Murphy, Q.C., and Mr. W. Graham, of the English Bar, with Mr. J. Atkinson, Q.C., and Mr. Ronan, of the Irish Bar. The counsel for the Irish Members are Sir Charles Russell, Q.C., Mr. Asquith, Mr. R.T. Reid, Q.C., Mr. F. Lockwood, Q.C., Mr. Lionel Hart, Mr. Arthur Russell, Mr. Arthur O'Connor, and Mr. Harrington. Mr. P.A. Chance is represented by Mr. Hammond, solicitor, and Mr. Biggar, M.P., and Mr. Michael Davitt, appear personally.


There was another discussion as to the speeches upon which the Times relies. It was opened by Sir Henry James, who said he had a suggestion to make which he believed, if adopted, would have the effect of facilitating the inquiry. He quite felt that his learned friend and those who were otherwise interested really required, and were entitled to, the context of the speeches from which they read. He now had to suggest that his clients would print all of the speeches from which they read, or would read any extract, would underline the portion they wished to read and upon which they relied, would print also the name of each of the witnesses who would be called in the ordinary course to prove those speeches, and would give copies of the same to his learned friends and those gentlemen who appeared personally in the inquiry. They would also, he said, produce transcripts of all the other speeches and have them safely placed in some room in the building. They would then ask their friends and their Lordships to fix some day for the proving of these speeches, and they would produce the witnesses to prove them. He thought that would save a great deal of time that would be occupied if they proceeded as they were now doing.
Sir Charles Russell observed that he thought it a very valuable suggestion, but asked that he might consult the other gentlemen who appeared with him before expressing concurrence with it.
The President expressed his pleasure at the proposal, and hoped they would be able to come to some such an arrangement.


Sir Henry James explained that they were under the difficulty of having a number of witnesses present to prove a particular portion of the case, and if they did not proceed with the examination of the witness Irwin, who was being examined when the Court rose last night, they would be unable to proceed, except disjointedly, so to speak, until they had brought other witnesses over. They proposed to prove outrages, but were not in a position to do that today, county by county, under the altered circumstances. They would be broken witnesses if they proceeded at once.
Sir Charles Russell characterised that announcement as rather startling. He thought they were going on, and -----
Sir Henry James - And so did we.
Sir Charles Russell continued that they were not in a position to cross-examine the witnesses as to the outrages. They were not immediately, of course, in a position to proceed district by district, and must ask that the districts should be given them.
The President - Let him go on with evidence, and reserve your cross-examination.
Sir Charles Russell concurred, but referred to O'Malley and Irwin, whom he wished to cross-examine.
The Attorney-General observed that the examination of Irwin might be continued and concluded.


Mr. Healy asked whether all the speeches made in the course of the agitation were referred to, and whether the names of the witnesses - in the hands of the Times and the Government - who made the reports, would be furnished.
Sir Henry James pointed out that if they proved the speeches they would be given in extenso.
Mr. Healy observed that in the transcript of the speeches, two or three did not appear verbatim. It was condensed into two or three sentences.
Sir Henry James - Just so.
Mr. Healy - Well, can't we have the full speech?
Sir Henry James - That is all we have. You will probably get the full account in the Irish papers.
Mr. Davitt asked if the same rule applied to speeches alleged to have been delivered in America.
Sir Henry James (smilingly) - No. We have not touched that part of the case yet. It is simply the Irish speeches.


Captain O'Shea was then recalled, and was asked by Sir Charles Russell if the name of a man mentioned by him yesterday was Carrol Tavis, and witness said it was as near as he could remember. He, however, did not know him. The Captain added, "It was a mistake to say I met Hayes. I never met him directly or indirectly."
The declaration signed by the Advanced Nationalists, referred to yesterday, was then handed to the witness.
Sir Charles Russell said he did not require the document read.
The Attorney-General - Does the name of Mulqueney appear on that testimonial? - No.
Perhaps you will now be able to say whether it is a fact that you sent Mr. Mulqueney to Paris to get a document signed? - Witness replied that it was not a fact.
The Attorney-General - I do not think that the names there (pointing to the testimonial) of those who are in no way mixed up in this affair, should be printed. - Sir Charles Russell assented.


The evidence of Head-Constable Irwin was resumed.
Mr. Murphy proceeded to read speeches delivered at Cork, by Mr. Parnell and others, on the 2nd of October, 1881, as reported by the witness. In his speech, the hon. Member for Cork urged that if the result of the Land Act was to benefit the tenants, they were not to accept the advantages unless the Act also benefited the labourers and artisans.
Mr. Murphy also read speeches by Mr. T.P. O'Connor and Mr. Redpath on the same occasion. Mr. Tim Healy, at the meeting, advised that the tenants should pay no rent at all until they saw what the rent was going to be. "That is all I shall require of the witness," said Mr. Murphy.


Sir Charles Russell then cross-examined the witness.
When were you first employed to report meetings? - About 1880.
And I suppose you had acquired a fair knowledge of shorthand? - Yes, a fair knowledge.
Did you report meetings constantly? - At intervals, not constantly.
When did you last report a meeting? - The last meeting I reported was one at which Mr. Davitt was present in May, 1887.
And you have not reported a meeting since? - No.
You know a good deal about Ireland and the social condition of the people? - I do know a great deal of Ireland.
Well, do you know that Land League meetings were usually held in districts where evictions had or were about to take place? - I judged so sometimes by the tenour of the speeches.
Had you anything to complain of as to the way in which you were received at these meetings? - No. All I can say, in that respect, is that sometimes I was admitted to the platform, and sometimes I was not. I made a report of the general character of the meetings, including the inscriptions on the banners. I took down all the speeches, made a transcript, and forwarded them to the authorities at the Castle; but when in a locality where a superior officer was I handed it to him.
The Attorney-General read certain extracts in his speech. Do you know who made those? - I do not.
You had nothing to do with it? - Oh, no.
Where did you get the transcripts you have produced from? - From a clerk in the Irish Office in Great Queen-street.
Who instructed you? - I was subpoenaed to produce certain documents, and I went there and got them. I was subpoenaed first last Monday week, but I was previously subpoenaed in the case of "O'Donnell v. Walter."


Did you at that time take the evidence of certain of the Times' witnesses on instructions? - I certainly took it, but not on instructions.
Where did you take it? - At the Inns of Court Hotel.
Who were present? - Some Queen's officers.
Were there any Magistrates there? - Some divisional Magistrates.
Who were they? - Captain Slack, Mr. Holden, and another, who walked in and out.
How many were there now? - I can't say exactly.
Well, about? - Six or seven. Perhaps more, perhaps less.
And having taken the evidence, what did you do with it? - In some cases I gave it to the witness.
And in other cases? - I gave it to Mr. Horne.
He is a resident Magistrate? - Yes.
Why did you give it to him? - Well, I have been attached to him for years, Sir.
As a subordinate, or personally? - I have been working officially with him, off and on, for about eight years. He is a Resident Magistrate for Clare, Kerry, and other adjoining counties. I have worked with him in the investigation of cases of crime in Ireland under the Crimes Act. The __ under the late Act was in December of last year, and the last was the shooting and wounding of the schoolmaster Robertson.


Was Mr. Horne or was he not engaged in assisting to get up evidence on the part of the Times at the hotel you refer to? - He was present in the rooms.
Did he put questions to the witness? - He wrote out statements the same as I did.
Did other Magistrates, in addition to Mr. Horne, take statements? - I saw ten writing at a table.
And some of the witnesses near them? - Well, the witnesses were sitting about in the room.
Did you hear these gentlemen put questions? - I won't say that I did.
Well, what were they doing? Were they sitting in dumb show? - Some of them were writing.
And writing down answers to witnesses? - I didn't see them.
What were they writing? - I think private letters.


Sir Charles Russell - Did these gentlemen write statements from witnesses? - I am not sure that they did.
Sir Charles Russell - Now, be candid. Did you see witnesses near them? Did you see them write down statements you believed were from the witnesses? No, I did not.
Further questioned by Sir Charles, the witness said there were many policemen present. Witness asked the questions - sometimes Mr. Horne did so. There were a number of constables there who wrote shorthand. A sergeant was writing shorthand, and witness presumed he was taking down the statement of a witness.
How long did this go on - days or hours? - Perhaps for a week. The same kind of thing went on - on and off.


Sir Charles Russell - A number of witnesses, a number of police, and Magistrates - were they still writing their private letters? (Laughter.) - They were in and out at intervals. McCorliff, district inspector, was there. He took the statement of a gentleman named Boyd, of New Ross.
Who is Mr. Boyd? - Crown Solicitor.
Was Mr. George Bolton there? - Yes.
Who is Mr. George Bolton? - Crown Solicitor for Tipperary.
And you knew you were helping to get up the evidence in the case of "O'Donnell v. Walter?" - I simply took the statements. I was never asked to get up evidence for the Times. I had seen Mr. Edmunds. I knew he was Mr. Soames' clerk.
You know that there was a State trial in Dublin in December, 1880? - Yes.
Were you present? - I went there to look on.
Among the persons charged were Mr. Parnell, Mr. J. Dillon, Mr. Biggar, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Sexton, Mr. Brennan, and Mr. P.J. Sheridan? - Yes.
All the speeches up to the date of the prosecution were referred to at the trial; but the Jury disagreed, and the prosecution dropped? - Yes.


Now (said Sir Charles), has it not been the employment of police in evictions that has caused much sore feeling to exist between the people and the police? - That certainly has been a cause of sore feeling.
Has it been the principal cause? - There may have been other causes, such as riots.


Do you know that the class of persons holding small farms in Galway, mainly supported themselves by their earnings in England and Scotland during harvest-time? - That is true.
And you know, do you not, that, after the years 1878-79, that kind of employment fell off very considerably? - Since those years the people seem to have got poorer.
In 1878-79 were there not grave rumours of a general re-occurrence of the famine of 1846-47? - I know meetings were held; I was present at least at one meeting.
And the distress was great, was it not? - Generally so among the smaller farmers.


Do you know that just as that distress deepened evictions increased? - "Well," said witness, "I have no personal knowledge of that."
I may ask you, as a man mixing amongst the people, if evictions did not increase as the distress deepened? - As the people fell into arrear, of course writs were issued, and the consequence would be evictions?
And as those evictions increased general discontent increased? - General discontent increased since 1879.
Have outrages, in your judgement, increased in proportion to evictions? - I have heard people who have been evicted, or who had received notices of eviction, say they did not care what became of them or what they did.
They became, in fact (added Sir Charles) in a state of desperation? - Some of them.


At many of the meetings were there not speeches enjoining patience upon the people? - If you include all the meetings at which I have attended I should say there were many of them.
And did not speakers, in their speeches in 1881, 1882, and 1883, ask the people to rely upon the efforts of their leaders to secure their rights from Parliament? - That was the general tone of many of the speeches.
There were very few meetings, I suppose, of which there were not some "harum-scarum" speeches? - Yes.
Have you encountered that man whom the Attorney-General has made so celebrated; I mean "Scrab" Nally? - No.
Do you know that he is looked upon as a joke in his own country? - I know he is looked upon as a man who would say anything.
Is he a person to whose speeches anyone would attach importance? - I cannot say.


Is it true that there has been most disturbances in Galway, part of Mayo, Kerry, and Clare? - Yes.
Do you know that it was in these counties where there was most disturbance, and that secret societies were most supposed to exist? - Yes.
Do you know, from your own observations, whether it was not in those districts that the Land League met the most opposition from the secret societies? - I am unable to answer that question.
Do you know that the secret societies were opposed to the Land League? - Some of the leading members were, I know.
Have you heard of attempts being made to break up the Land League meetings by secret societies? - I have, certainly.
Have you heard of platforms being cut apart by members of secret societies to prevent any meetings? - No; I did not hear of that.
Sir Charles Russell again directed the witness's attention to the speech of the Rev. A. Murphy, a Catholic curate, delivered on the 25th of September, 1881. The witness proceeded to read his notes and was interrupted by Sir Charles, who, before he had proceeded far, asked, "Is there not something left out there?"
"Well," replied the witness, smiling, "he was rather a 'wide' sort of man." (Laughter.)
From a shorthand writer's point of view? - From every point of view.
Is it not a fact that in Kerry there was a greater opposition to the Land League than in any other county? - Well, some of the leaders, I believe, attempted to put down the League. One man told me that he dreaded the coming winter, and was afraid he would not be able to keep his boys in order.
With regard to the National League now existing, does not that observation apply to that? - Well, at Castleisland there are some who will not join in outrages, but oppose them. The younger men, however, join in them, and, in fact, some of them walk about doing nothing but that and watching the police.
Mr. Lockwood now cross-examined the witness.
"I think there were (said the witness, in reply to his questions) between 30,000 and 40,000 people present at the Cork demonstration in October, 1882. Mr. T.P. O'Connor was there, with Mr. Parnell, and the meeting, though orderly throughout, was marked by three or four dissentients.


Mr. Healy - How many speeches of mine have you reported? - About a hundred.
And how many have you been called upon to depose to? - After some fencing witness replied, "About six."
Six per cent, then? - Yes. I am (he added in reply to other questions) police-instructor in shorthand, and there are about thirty police shorthand writers in Ireland. About fifteen of these have, I believe, been subpoenaed to attend here on the part of the Times.
How many meetings were held in the year 1879, do you suppose? - I cannot say.
Where there were weekly meetings of the League, you know. Were not the proceedings of those meetings known to everybody? - To everybody who attended them. I know the police never attended in many instances.
How many meetings should you say were held from start to finish of this agitation? - I am sorry, I can't say.
Twenty-thousand? - I don't know.
Well, give your estimate? - Perhaps the meetings of the League, weekly and fortnightly numbered some thousands - perhaps tens of thousands.
Well, out of these dozens, scores, hundreds, of units of meetings, how many of your corps of reporters been called here to depose to? - A number of these meetings - that is, of the local branches of the Land League - I don't believe they ever went to.
Out of the reports of the thousands and thousands of meetings in the possession of the Times and the Government, how many have your reporters been called upon to depose to? - I don't know.
Now, I don't think you made it clear to Sir Charles Russell as to what was the date of the Inns of Court Hotel incident. Will you tell me when it occurred? - At the time of the trial of "O'Donnell against Walter."
He could not, witness proceeded, say what were the regulations of the Constabulary Code, as that code was a secret. "That book is not produced in public. The police at the stations can see it," added the witness. He could not say what the regulations were in the code as to police shorthand writers.


It is stated (said Mr. Healy) that I told the people to pay no rent. Is that the substance of your report? - Yes.
What is Griffiths' valuation? - The Government valuation of the land.
And in 1879 and 1880 was not the demand of the people to have the Government valuation. Was not the demand made on public platforms? - Yes.
When the Land Act was passed the rents were to be fixed by the Land Commissioners, so that they would not be in the hands of the landlords to fix arbitrarily? - The witness nodded, and the question was not proceeded with.


The witness was next asked as to the Grand Jury system in Ireland - its character, and the method of its election. He said that the Grand Jurors were elected by the higher class of ratepayers - the landlords. Part of the Irish Grand Jury system was that the bodies could fix compensation for outrages. The Grand Jury consisted of gentlemen and landlords of the county.
Mr. Healy - Do the Grand Jurors pay the rates they levy on the people? - The occupier pays the rates.
Mr. Healy - Have the people at large any choice or possibility of controlling who the Grand Jurors shall be? - I believe they have not.
Mr. Healy - Is there any possibility of a person of popular politics getting compensation?
Witness - I believe the Grand Jury is a perfectly impartial tribunal. In the case of a man named McCarthy (witness proceeded) he opposed a claim for compensation. McCarthy made a claim on the ground of an outrage.
Was he a Nationalist? - I don't know.
Mr. Healy - You need not tell me anything unless you like. You will not tell me anything favourable. (Slight hissing.)
The President said Mr. Healy had no right to make such a remark to the witness.
Irwin proceeded to say that in Kerry about 1,000 pounds was paid as compensation for outrages in one year. He had heard that hay and other things had been burnt on purpose, and that claims were then made to the Grand Jury. When a man's hay was burnt it was the Inspector-General of Constabulary who decided whether it was an outrage.


Have you read "Parnellism and Crime?" - Yes; about twelve months ago.
How many thousand copies were sent round to the police barracks in Ireland? - I never saw a copy there in the police barracks, and never heard that any were sent over.

1,200 PEOPLE - 64 POLICE.

Mr. Healy then questioned him on another topic. Now (said he), take Castleisland, for instance, what is the number of people in that town? - There are about 1,200 people.
And how many police? - About sixty-four men.
And those men were for the 1,200 people? - No; many of them were engaged in protection duty. Two men would have to stand outside a house all night to protect the people in one place, while others would be on similar duty in other places.
How many schoolmasters are there in the town? - About a dozen.


Mr. Davitt then proceeded to cross-examine the witness.
Have you (he asked) reported me at many meetings? - At few.
Do you recollect meeting with any discourtesy at my hands at those meetings? - Personally, not the slightest.
Do you recollect at any meeting in 1879 my saying that if the Government did not give relief famine and disturbance would occur? - Not in 1879.


What was my advice with regard to outrages and crimes? - I heard you warn the people against the commission of crime in Castleisland, and advise them to abandon the commission of outrage.
Do you recollect me denouncing moonlighting very vigorously? - Yes, I do.
You know I have always denounced landlordism very strongly? - Yes.
Do you ever recollect me denouncing any landlord or bailiff individually? - No, but I heard you mention the name of Shirley at one meeting.


Mr. Murphy then re-examined the witness, who declared that before the years 1879-80 Kerry and Galway were very quiet.
Were such outrages as the maiming of cattle known in the country? - Not to my knowledge.
Was boycotting known in that district, or anywhere, so far as you know? - Not to my knowledge.
Was the term "land-grabber" known? - I never heard of it.
Were men ever interfered with for buying or selling land? - Only in family disputes.


Did outrages increase after the branches of the Land League had been established? - Outrages increased in 1881.
Was there a difficulty in detecting crime about that time or not? - Very few persons were brought to justice.
You have been asked as to whether or not the Moonlighters and Land Leaguers were on good terms. Were not moonlighters Land Leaguers in many instances? - In nearly all the counties throughout Ireland many of the people had joined the League, but I cannot say many of them were Moonlighters.


The witness then proceeded to say that a man who was an official of the Land League, and took a prominent part in politics - had told him that they had great difficulty in keeping the "Revolver Boys" in order. The man who was known as the captain was, in fact, quite manageable. On the occasion of General Baker's visit to the races at Castleisland (continued the witness) that man told me that Buller was a good sort of man, and that they would like to give him a reception. It would not do, however (he continued), for the people of Castleisland to give him a reception, or for the band to come out, as it would not do to appear in print in America, because the "Revolver Boys" would not stand it.
"What was the man's name?" asked the President.
"You had better give the name," said Sir Charles Russell.
It was Morris Murphy, a hotel-keeper of Castleisland.
Did he say that he was anxious to keep the "boys" quiet? - I understood that he was anxious to keep them quiet during the winter, and that he had been in communication with Members of the Government.
Before these Land League meetings were held, did you ever know of a man being punished for paying his rent? - Well, Kerry was very quiet when I first went there.


Bernard O'Malley was again examined, producing transcripts of three speeches. The first was one delivered at Kilconnelley, co. Galway, by Patrick Gordon, on Sept. 19, 1880. O'Malley had transcribed the speeches from his notes. In the course of his speech, Gordon said if it was necessary to fight for the cause, he would do so at the point of the bayonet. But they ought to get justice from the English Government without bloodshed. To cause the destruction of the landlords they must assemble as one man under the Land League, and swear before high heaven that they would never rest content until the accursed system of landlordism was swept out of the country. "I tell you to resist tyranny even at the cost of your own life," he said. "It is better to die fighting than to die in the workhouse." The other speeches were delivered at Abbyknock-morley, on 3rd October, 1880, by Patrick Gordon and John Henby. One speaker went on to denounce the "land sharks," and, alluding to America, said, "I hope the stars and stripes of America will float over the hill-tops of Ireland."
The Court then adjourned for luncheon.

The examination of Head Constable O'Malley was continued after luncheon.


Sir Henry James read a speech made by Mr. John Handley at a meeting on the 30th of October, 1880. Mr. Handley in that speech proposed a resolution to the effect that the meeting sympathised with the agitation which was being carried on by the Land League, and hoped it would be continued until the present land system was uprooted, and a peasant propriety established. In that speech it was stated that the landlord system was so rotten that it was no wonder the ground produced rotten potatoes instead of good ones. "If you only stick together, and obey the Land League," continued the speaker, "the rotten landlord system will be pulled down, not with a rope of straw, but with a rope of sand - and will leave you your homes free for ever in a certain time."
Sir Charles Russell then cross-examined the witness. "How long (he asked) have you been head constable? - "Six months," replied the witness; "and I've been twenty-two years altogether in the force. He had been (he proceeded) on duty from 1867 to 1878-79. He knew of the condition of Connemara; but he had never seen an able-bodied man breakfasting on a turnip sprinkled with Indian meal. There was periodically a certain amount of distress in Connemara.


Was there not a disturbance at the meeting at Kilconnelley, at which Sheridan spoke? - I haven't the slightest recollection of it; but I gathered from the speakers that they apprehended opposition from the Fenians.
At the October meeting at which Mr. Gordon spoke was not there a speaker called Father Eglinton? - Yes.
How is it you have not transcribed it? - Because I was not asked to; but there is a verbatim report of it in print, I believe.
Well, did not Father Eglinton denounce the murder of Lord Mountmorres? - He did; I have a distinct recollection of that.
Then you were not asked to supply a transcript of Father Eglinton's speech.
Witness said he believed a transcript had been prepared.
Sir C. Russell - Then we must have it.


Mr. Walter Blake (added the witness) who was denounced at that meeting by Gordon, and said by the Attorney-General to have been murdered, is now "alive and kicking." (Laughter.) I have (added the witness) reported, perhaps, a couple of hundred speeches altogether. The transcripts were submitted to the Divisional Magistrates and then sent to the Castle.
Had you anything to do with the selection of extracts from these speeches? - Not a bit in the world.


Sir Charles Russell called attention to an extract made from a speech by Mr. Brennan, at Milltown, in 1880: - "The highest form of Government is a Republic. You may establish an Irish Republic on Irish soil." That was the extract given, but the actual portion of the speech (said the learned counsel), was - "If we had a Government in Ireland tomorrow which would protect the idler against the worker, I would be against them. All I see here, I think, will agree with me that the highest form of Government is a Republic. Well, you may establish a Republic on Irish soil, but as long as the tillers of the soil are forced to support an idle class, a Republic would be a mockery."


Mr. Reid, Q.C., then questioned the witness. "It was (said the witness in reply to his question) "the rule at these meetings for the priests and others to tell the persons there not to commit crime, as it would injure their cause."


He did not remember seeing J.W. Nally (said the witness, alluding to the redoubtable "Scrab") prevented from getting on platforms. He saw him prevented from proposing a resolution on one occasion.
Is it not a fact that he was almost an irresponsible person - looked upon as a sort of lunatic? (Laughter.) - I never heard so. He was looked upon as a kind of drunkard. (Laughter.) He was what I should call a free lance.
Mr. Healy - Did you ever drink with Nally yourself? - Yes - (laughter) - on two or three occasions, when he came to the hotel where I was staying.
You never gave him a drop at these meetings? - No, never.
Has he often sat and drank with you? - I have met him many times at meetings, but have only drunk with him on three occasions.
At what time was that? - "I could not tell. It might have been nine or ten o'clock, or it might have been any time at all," replied the witness, amid laughter.
You appear to have been admitted into the select circle where Mr. Nally was? - I should not call it a select circle. (Laughter.)
You were not excluded, although everyone knew you were a police reporter? - Yes; and if they did not know it I took very good care to tell them. (Renewed laughter.)
You were not then boycotted in any way? - "Not a bit in the world," replied the witness.


How many of the agitators have you met at hotels in this friendly spirit? Just give me their names. - I cannot remember now, but I believe I have met Mr. Harris and Mr. Walsh. I have happened to stay at the same hotel at which they have stayed after a meeting.
Were those men concocting outrages after the meetings? - I do not think they were, but, if so, they were very careful not to let me know anything about it.


Mr. Healy then called witness's attention to the fact that Mr. Burridge was the landlord of about forty or fifty miles of land at Clifton. "Did you ever know him to go over to see his people in their distress? he asked. - No, Sir, not to my knowledge.
When the distress was at its height, were soup kitchens or relief committees established? - No; but meetings were held, and food tickets were distributed.
Do you know that the farmers at that time were kept alive by public subscriptions? - Most of them.
Did you ever hear of Mr. Berridge giving a shilling? - I know nothing about it.


Sir Henry James then intimated that, for the reasons which he had mentioned in the morning, he would not be able to proceed with the examination of witnesses as to outrages at once, and therefore he would suggest that the Court should be adjourned until Tuesday.
Sir Charles Russell concurred in this proposal.
Mr. Healy thought that those who lived at a distance should be told what the charges would be that were to be made against them in advance, because it would be a matter of impossibility to deal with cases at once that had taken place eight or ten years ago.
The President understood that such particulars would be supplied. He expressed concurrence in Sir Henry James's proposal.
Sir Henry James - So far as we can, particulars as to any substantial charge shall be given him.
Sir Charles Russell pointed out that they should object to any outrage being referred to for purposes of what he might call mere parade, unless there was really some connection between such an outrage and the person charged.
The President informed Mr. Healy that he might rely upon it the Court would take care he should have ample time to get particulars of charges made against him.
Sir Henry James - Give me your address, Mr. Healy, so that I can communicate with you.
Mr. Healy - Oh! "Dublin" will find me.
The Commission then adjourned till Tuesday next.


"I hear," says the London Correspondent of the Freeman's Journal," that Sir W. Harcourt will in all probability tender himself as a witness before the Commission, in view of the insinuation made against him by Captain O'Shea. It is also thought possible that Mr. Gladstone may deem it his duty to make a statement on the same subject. I am further informed that Mr. Chamberlain's intimate association with Captain O'Shea - and especially the fact that it was through Mr. Chamberlain's instrumentality that Captain O'Shea was brought into communication with the Times - may necessitate his being called. The scope of the case is widening generally, and, perhaps, before it is ended, Lord Salisbury and Lord Carnarvon may find themselves under cross-examination before the Commission."


The London Correspondent of the Birmingham Post generally corroborates the assertion of the Freeman's Journal representative, so far as the appearance of Mr. Gladstone, Sir W. Harcourt, and Mr. Chamberlain is concerned. He also adds that he understands that Mr. John Morley also will be called as to certain points concerning which his name has been mentioned. "I have also good reason for stating (he says) that when that portion of the case which touches the authenticity of the letters is entered upon, while the Times will state the channels through which they were received, in proof of their genuineness, the Nationalist counsel will largely rely upon certain marks upon the note-paper, not visible to the naked eye, but which have been discovered in the process of photographing the documents for the use of the Court, in support of the allegation that they are spurious."


Lord Kinnear, in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, today, heard counsel in the action by Mr. Parnell against the Times for libel. The Dean of Faculty, for the defenders, contended that the Court had no jurisdiction, because the defenders were not personally cited. - Mr. Asher, for the pursuer, said it was sufficient to show that the defender, Walter, had interest in the funds arrested in Scotland, and also that the Times circulated in Scotland. - The Lord Advocate then replied for the defenders, and Mr. Balfour for the pursuer. The latter, in reply to Lord Kinnear, said the citation was edictal. They did not know the Times' agents, who seemed as mysterious as its proprietors. The Times came into Scotland and launched its slanders there, and why should it not be liable to the Scotch law? Mr. Walter was the registered proprietor, and, as such, liable for arrestments. - Mr. Balfour said this was not a Scotch partnership. The status of the parties of the Times was that of joint owners, and it would be necessary for the other side to show that the law would not allow sole property to be arrested.
Lord Kinnear asked if funds belonging to Wright were arrested, and Mr. Balfour said they didn't insist on that. Walter was good for fifty thousand.
Lord Kinnear reserved judgment.


This afternoon a Unionist demonstration was held in the City Hall, Perth, and was attended by Mr. Goschen. In replying to addresses presented to him, the right hon. gentleman said that in Scotland he had heard most gratifying declarations in support of Her Majesty Government, and he would be able to assure his colleagues of what he believed to be the growing strength of the Unionist cause North of the Tweed. Mr. Morley, the philosopher and logician of the allied forces of Mr. Parnell, had declared the Parnellite Party was the party of Trust; but Mr. Morley commenced his career as a Home Ruler from a feeling of blank hopelessness and despair. The Unionist Party recognised the obligations of duty and honour. There were two great difficulties - Irish poverty and the agrarian feud. The Government desired to deal with both; but their opponents were determined to prevent them.

Source: The Echo, Thursday November 1, 1888, pp. 2-3

Karen Trenouth
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