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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Thu 20 Sep 2012 - 22:49

Fifteenth Day of Proceedings - Friday, November 16, 1888

PARNELL COMMISSION.
FIFTEENTH DAY'S PROCEEDINGS.

LADY MOUNTMORRES IN THE BOX.
HER HUSBAND'S MURDER.

WHERE HE WAS KILLED.
EXTRAORDINARY INCIDENT.

GROANED AT AFTER HIS DEATH.
PAINFUL SCENE IN COURT.

EXCITEMENT IN COURT.
MR. T. HARRINGTON AND THE PRESIDENT.

SIR R. WEBSTER'S QUESTION.

This is the fifteenth day of the inquiry. Public interest in the proceedings seems to increase rather than subside. The entrance to the gallery of the Court was besieged long before ten o'clock, and when at length the door leading to the circular steps was opened there was a most unusual rush, the gallery being crowded in a very few minutes. The Judges' Gallery presented a similarly animated appearance, and the body of the Court, even to the seats reserved for the Press, was also crowded. Amongst those who usurped the spaces reserved for the latter was Lady Bowen.

During the day Mr. J. Dillon, M.P., entered the Court, occupying a seat with the junior counsel; and Colonel Saunderson, M.P., took up a position at the back of the Court. Mr. J. Biggar, Mr. Matt Harris, and Mr. M. Davitt occupied their old seats.

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.

PENALTY FOR TAKING EVICTED FARMS.

Patrick Keeveney, an Ahascragh farmer, opened today's proceedings. He was called to further describe the attitude of the people towards those who took evicted farms. He took a farm at Coolnoe in 1887 which had been surrendered twelve months before, and after that, he said, "the people turned hard against him." Ultimately he was called before the Glenamaddy branch of the Land League, and he told them that if he had done anything against the rules of the League he would give up the farm if the League refunded the 100 pounds he had paid in rent. He was told that he had better apply to the landlord, and that he would have to "fight his own battle." However, he stayed on at the farm, with the result that a band of about seventy people turned his cattle off the farm, and stood along the hedges with sticks in their hands, and prevented their returning. Although this occurred soon after he attended the meeting of the League, Keeveney asserted most emphatically that not one of the members of the committee or of the League was present at the time the cattle were removed. Later on the parties who had turned out the cattle put their own upon the land. During that time he was not boycotted, and no one actually refused to supply him with necessaries.

TREASURER "WITHIN A MILE!"

The only way in which it was attempted to connect the Land League with the removal of the cattle was to obtain from the witness the declaration that the Treasurer of the League was "within a mile of the farm on the morning of the occurrence."
"But," said the witness, in reply to Sir Charles Russell, who then rose, "I haven't the slightest reason to believe that he was not going to see his landlord who lived near where I saw him." Keeveney added that as a result of the outrage eight men were prosecuted and each sentenced to six months' hard labour.

LADY MOUNTMORRES THE NEXT WITNESS."

Then came something like a sensation in Court. "Lady Mountmorres is the next witness, my Lord," observed Sir Henry James. Instantly a buzz of whispers ran through the Court, as Lady Mountmorres, dressed in deep black, with a seal-skin dolman, entered the box.
Sir Henry James conducted her examination. She deposed to being the widow of the late Lord Mountmorres, with whom she took up her residence at Ebor Hall, in the county Galway, in 1864. Her husband was the principal occupier of the land. Lady Mountmorres remembered certain meetings being held in the locality about 1879, and after that she noticed a change in the attitude of the people towards the family.

THE DEMEANOUR OF THE PEOPLE.

The men ceased (said the witness) to touch their hats, and they were disrespectful in their manner.
Were there any obstacles placed on the road? - Yes.
Of what kind? - Great blocks were placed there, so that the car could not be driven along. - Lady Mountmorres went on to say that her husband was a J.P., and attended the Sessions, she sometimes accompanying him. On these occasions she had noticed that the people looked very threatening, and had been in consequence greatly frightened.

LORD MOUNTMORRES MURDERED - HOOTING AT THE WIDOW.

In August, 1880, she went to Scotland to attend her brother, who was ill, and her husband stayed at home. A few days later she received a telegram and returned, finding that her husband had been shot dead. After that she was informed by her brother, Colonel Broadley, that the men would not put the hearse in the box.
"About three weeks later," continued her ladyship, "I left Ebor Hall. I had to leave by stealth, and on the road the people hooted and groaned at me, and I had to pull down the blinds of the carriage. After my husband's death, my little son, who is only eight years old, was stoned while standing on the lawn in front of the hall."

BEFORE AND AFTER THE MEETING.

Prior to the meeting held near the hall in 1879, Lord Mountmorres, she said, was extremely popular, and the people were very respectful on every occasion. After 1880 they couldn't even keep a man-servant in the house. In fact the servants all left one after another, one declaring that he had been stoned, another running away on a Sunday, saying that he "couldn't stand it," and another going after seven weeks' service because "he was afraid to stay."

WAS IT THE SEQUEL TO AGRARIAN DIFFERENCES.

Sir Charles Russell's cross-examination was conducted very considerately, being prefaced by the observation, "I will trouble you as little as I can, Lady Mountmorres." Her ladyship could not say whether the threatening attitude of the crowd she had noticed towards her husband was the sequel to differences between landlord and tenant. She declared that she could not remember where the meetings took place, that she had not heard of complaints against her husband's action as a Magistrate, and that until now she had never heard that her husband had a dispute with the people because he wanted to stop up an ancient pathway.
"I will not undertake to swear," she continued, "positively that my husband did not receive threatening notices before the meetings were held, because I don't know the date." However, Sir Charles Russell persevered in the question, and her ladyship then said, "I will swear that the attitude of the people towards my husband was not threatening till after the meetings."
At this point a painful scene occurred. Lady Mountmorres swayed to and fro, and suddenly, before the usher could assist her, fell forcibly back into the seat.
Sir Charles Russell resumed his seat; and when, after the lapse of about five minutes, her ladyship had recovered, he intimated, as did also other gentlemen, that he would not further examine Lady Mountmorres, who then retired.

HOW LORD MOUNTMORRES BECAME UNPOPULAR.

Head-Constable Rudden, of the R.I.C., followed. He was stationed near the residence of the late Lord Mountmorres. He described the condition of that district after the establishment of the League. He had to tell of outrages similar to those with which readers of the proceedings at the Commission are very familiar - of firing into the house of Mr. Linch, who had an estate about three miles from Ebor Hall, of an attack on one of his tenants, a man named George Hopkins, and of nocturnal visits to other tenants who had been warned not to work for Mr. Linch. Rudden went on to say he afterwards became personally acquainted with Lord Mountmorres, who always openly denounced the Land League, with the result that he became very unpopular with his neighbours.

SEEKING FOR THE MURDERER - THE DIFFICULTY.

League meetings were pretty frequent in the districts, and especially around Ebor Hall, before the murder of Lord Mountmorres; and one was held on even the day after the occurrence. Rudden was engaged in investigations in connection with the murder. It was, of course, his business to, if possible discover the murderer; but he found great difficulty in getting information from the tenantry, and was closely watched.

CAUSE OF HIS LORDSHIP'S UNPOPULARITY.

Sir Charles Russell then rose. In answer to his question, the witness expressed his opinion that Lord Mountmorres' unpopularity was due to his dual position of landlord and Magistrate. But he added further that Lord Mountmorres, while making no secret that he was opposed to the Land League, often spoke of bringing military into the district for the purpose of suppressing the meetings. That was, witness thought, the chief cause of his unpopularity. Sir Charles Russell led Rudden back to 1879, when, said the witness, Lord Mountmorres was under police protection. That, too, was before the Land League had been established in that district. According to Rudden, Lord Mountmorres had given them no cause for complaint until July, 1880, when he evicted a tenant named Sweeney.

COMMUNICATING WITH DUBLIN CASTLE.

Mr. Davitt then addressed himself to Rudden, who admitted that Lord Mountmorres led his tenants to believe that he was in direct communication with Dublin Castle.
"In fact," added Mr. Davitt, "that he sent secret information to Dublin Castle, and that was the cause of his unpopularity." - "I cannot say that," said witness, "but it would not make the people more friendly towards him."

WHERE HE WAS KILLED - SHOUTING AND DANCING.

Another military-looking member of the R.I.C. took his place in the witness-box. He caused some amusement by emphasising replies to every question by arching his eyebrows very impressively. He declared, at a very high tone of voice - as if he were a soldier, and he was responding to the roll-call - that he was William O'Connor, and that he was a sergeant. This man spoke to attending a meeting of the Land League at Clonbar the day after the murder. Here some man shouted, "Down with Lord Mountmorres!" and one man, raising his hand, said, "Ah! he's gone now. We'll have no more to say of him. None of you would care to be where he is at present." O'Connor also declared that he saw men shouting and dancing over the spot where Lord Mountmorres was killed.
O'Connor departed, and was succeeded by John Birmingham, a little, clean-shaven man, who between the various questions amused himself and the Court by playing nervously with his bare upper lip and spasmodically yawning. He was a tenant of Colonel Blake, on the estate in co. Galway, and his house was fired into in 1881, though for what reason he could not say. After that, Birmingham sought police protection, was boycotted, and suffered damage to his property, his wall being thrown down. The farm he took was one from which a tenant had been evicted, and he declared that he was the bailiff, and not actually the tenant.
Sir Charles Russell obtained from the witness the intelligence that he was the process-server in the district, that the man who was evicted lived in the locality, and that he himself served the eviction notice upon the old tenant.

HOW THE HERD WAS TREATED.

Owen Morgan, the last witness's herd, next occupied the witness-box. A man of small stature, with a low, receding forehead, and twinkling brown eyes, he shuffled his heavy boots uneasily against the sides of the box, twirled his black, soft felt hat in his hand, and alternately played with the frayed edges of his tweed coat, and knocked the woodwork before him. He spoke in a strong Irish brogue. He described the difficulty he experienced in getting food, being boycotted for working for Birmingham, observing that he couldn't get anything to eat for nine days, though he had "plenty of money to buy it with."
To Sir Charles Russell he confided the fact that a man named Connolly once worked for Birmingham.

"HAD I A GUN? WHAT'S THAT?"

"Did he leave?" asked Sir Charles.
"Well, shure, and I can't look after him, yer honour," was the reply, received with a burst of laughter in Court.
Morgan was a source of considerable amusement as the cross-examination went on. Sir Charles wished to ascertain from him whether he was ever the possessor of a gun. Morgan leant forward over the box rail with an amused smile, and his small eyes glanced suspiciously at his questioner, as though he thought his answer might incriminate himself.
"Had you a gun?" asked Sir Charles, over and over again, Morgan repeating the sentence, "Had I a gun?" as frequently, and smiling all the while.
"Come, come, Morgan, won't you answer?" persuasively asked the counsel; and Morgan, having made a final glance ceilingwards, asked with suave persuasiveness, "What's that, now?"

"HAVE NOTHING TO DO WID THE MAN."

Again the question was repeated, Sir Charles Russell adding, "Don't look so suspiciously at me." Again came the question applied to the gun, "What's that?" and then Morgan exclaimed, with an amusing horror-stricken look on his face, "Shure and I hadn't, yer honour." After this Morgan warmed to his task and described how he sent a messenger to a house near at hand, but the owner would not give him food.
But to Mr. Michael Davitt he exhibited a similar amount of stolidity. Mr. Davitt wished to get from him whether the police told him to send for food, but the witness would not answer satisfactorily, replying at length, in a tone of disgust, "Oh! shure, I'd have nothing to do wid the man."

WHAT HE HAD BEEN PAID.

Who asked you to come here? - "Um," replied the fellow, amid an outburst of laughter.
Who asked you to come here? - Well, I couldn't say; but I think 'twas him that served me.
Were you paid? - Yes.
How much? - 5 pounds.
Who gave it to you? - I think 'twas the man that served me.
Do you expect to get anything when you get back? - Shure, and I couldn't say.
Were you promised anything? - "Um!" (Laughter.)
Were you promised anything else? - No.
Was your wife? - Well, I couldn't say.
Mr. Davitt resumed his seat in despair, the learned Judges displaying unusual amusement at the attitude of the witness, who had glanced from Mr. Davitt to the Times counsel, ultimately drawing from Mr. Davitt the remark, "Look at me, not at the Times."

"NOT TROUBLED AFTER SUBSCRIBING."

The herd retired, and John Burke, a blacksmith, was called. He asserted that Birmingham used to bring his horses to his forge to be shod, and, as he did Birmingham's work, so his other customers fell off. "Then," said witness, "I attended the meeting of the local branch of the National League. I told them that I was suffering from boycotting, and asked for mercy. They told me that I was not boycotted by the League." Witness added that he afterwards paid a subscription to the League, and was not troubled after that.

HEARD THEY WERE DECENT PEOPLE.

In answer to Mr. Davitt, witness admitted that there was another blacksmith in the neighbourhood, and that he had heard that it was owing to his "blackguardism" that witness was boycotted.
"There are no blackguards in the League, I hope," said Mr. Davitt.
"I hope not," answered the witness, fervently. "I have heard that they are all decent people."

SHOT IN THE LEG - AND WHY.

Patrick Gorman followed. It was difficult to comprehend Patrick's meaning. An old soldier, he had been shot through the jaw in the Crimea. He, in fact, stated, in answer to Mr. Ronan, that the shot entered his left jaw, passed through the right jaw, into the right shoulder. He was a tenant of Mrs. Blake. His house was one night visited, and he was attacked by armed men. He, however, beat a hasty retreat, and secreted himself on the top of the wooden cover over the bed. The men found him again, and dragged him back to the kitchen. He there cried out for mercy. The men, however, saw he had paid his rent, and they then shot him in the leg.

DEALING WITH KERRY.

Sir Henry James at this stage intimated that he now proposed calling witnesses in connection with county Kerry. Sir Charles Russell at once raised an objection to this. He thought it very inconvenient that Galway should be left without the case of Galway being completed. - The President agreed that it would very convenient to keep Galway together. - Sir Henry James pointed out that it was impossible to complete the case as far as Galway was concerned at present. They proposed to give evidence as to speeches in all the counties, and, when that was completed, they would give evidence with regard to outrages in those counties. - Sir Charles Russell again protested - and that with much vigour. He mentioned, too, that the Attorney-General had said he would show a special connection between the persons incriminated in the allegations and the outrages. Let that special evidence by given.
The President said that all he could do was to allow the case to stand over until the evidence with regard to Galway was completed.

LORD LISTOWEL'S TENANT ATTACKED.

John Conway then stepped into the witness-box. He said he lived at Ardfert, in co. Kerry, and was a tenant of Lord Listowel. In 1883 he helped Lord Listowel to drain a bog, and on the night of the 17th of July that year his house was attacked by five or six men. One of them fired a revolver, shooting him in the foot.

ATTENDING THE LEAGUE MEETING.

Conway went on to say that the day after the occurrence a gentleman, who said he was a reporter of a Cork newspaper, called upon him, and in consequence of what he said Conway attended a meeting of the Land League at Addaughney the following Sunday. He there told the Committee that if he had "committed himself" by cutting the bog he would give the League "satisfaction," and would give up the bog. One of the members of the League said that was "satisfaction enough," but Conway was particularly positive that nothing was said about the attack upon him, and that no one said he had been sufficiently punished. As a member of the League Conway had previously attended League meetings, but the boycotting of any person was never mentioned at those meetings. The League he described as an intermediary between the poor people and the farmers, its influence being used to secure "scored land," or allotments, for the former.
Sir Charles Russell drew from Conway the fact that he was never summoned to attend the League - he was, in fact, positive that he only attended because the reporter asked him to.

WHAT SIR R. WEBSTER SAID.

Hereupon Sir Charles Russell drew their Lordships' attention to the Attorney-General's opening speech, observing, "Now, my Lord, I must show that my friend was wrong."
"Well, you are misinformed," retorted the Attorney-General.
"But the witness has sworn otherwise," was Sir Charles Russell's reply. "You will observe, my Lord, that the Attorney-General said that Conway was summoned to attend the Land League. As he did not, he was shot; was then again summoned, and so attended."
Sir Charles clenched the witness's assertion by drawing from him another declaration that he was never summoned at all, and then went on to elicit the fact that Lord Listowel had drained the bog in question, and that the people of the neighbourhood wanted to cut it, while his Lordship wished to let it. This was the cause of the trouble; but Conway admitted he had had a personal quarrel with one man in the neighbourhood, named Dooley. Before he was shot, Conway had a quantity of "unsaved" turf destroyed, and, after claiming compensation, he obtained 25 pounds, which, he admitted, was much more than it was worth.
Mr. T. Harrington obtained from Conway the admissions that Mr. Fitzgerald, the agent of Lord Listowel, was secretary of the Grand Jury, that he himself only got 15 pounds of the 25 pounds, and that the remainder was taken by Mr. Fitzgerald for rent.
Conway told Mr. Biggar that he got from the Grand Jury what the turf would be worth had it been properly "made," and carted into, and sold in Tralee, a distance of five Irish miles from his home.

A REFERENCE TO THE LETTERS.

Sir Charles Russell pointed out that seven letters alleged to be those of Egan, seven of Mr. Parnell, one of Mr. Davitt, and two actually written by Mr. Davitt, had been examined. He asked that the documents might be returned to the Court, observing that he understood Mr. Soames now had them, and they had been given into his possession without any stipulation.
However, it was stated that the letters were in safe custody, and the matter dropped.
The Court then adjourned for luncheon.

A SHOOTING OUTRAGE.

When business was resumed,
Pat Sullivan, an agent living at Ballymoney-causeway, was called. He spoke to a Mrs. Conor giving up a tenancy under Mr. Lealey. Her son-in-law entered into possession, and Sullivan was sent by the landlord to demand possession, which was refused. After that a man called at Sullivan's house, and asked him to come out. When he went outside the house he was shot at. One bullet pierced his right arm, and another passed right through his right leg. Witness was afterwards summoned to attend a Land League meeting at the causeway. A man named Joyce there made a complaint about me that I had charged too much rent. I gave a letter from the landlord to Father Enright, the parish priest. The League asked me to let Joyce off fifteen days, and that I consented to do. Witness (continuing) said he never found out the man who shot him because he was disguised. There were two men, and the other was not disguised. Witness, however, could not identify the other man.
Mr. Lealey's property was very small, said witness, in answer to Sir Charles Russell, and up to the time witness was attacked there had been no evictions on that property. Mrs. Conor died and left a daughter, who was married. Her husband lived with Mrs. Conor, and worked the farm. After Mrs. Conor's death, her son-in-law brought his rent and wanted to continue as a tenant. The landlord, however, would not at that time agree to the arrangement. About a month after witness was shot, however, his mother implored him to take Conor's part. That was because witness had a suspicion that Conor had something to do with the attack on witness. Witness, however, ultimately did Conor a good turn, and he was accepted as a tenant. Witness further said that he let Joyce about half an acre of land. Joyce had to work twenty days on witness's farm in return. Joyce, however, complained that that was too much, and asked that he should not have to work for the twenty days, but that he should pay for the land at the same rate as witness paid for his farm. The Land League meeting, however, took witness's part, and witness accepted fifteen days' labour instead of twenty days'. witness did not consider that he was unfairly treated by the Land League, and was of opinion that the League had nothing to do with the attack upon him.

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S SUGGESTION - A SCENE.

The Attorney-General, with remarkable persistency, endeavoured to get from the witness whether he had been spoken to by one of the Harringtons.
Mr. T. Harrington, rising from his seat on the barristers' bench, observed, "My Lord, I can see the drift of this evidence. Allow me to say ----."
The President (sternly) - I can't hear you now, Mr. Harrington.
Mr. E. Harrington (rising from his seat next to Mr. Davitt) - It is very hard, my Lord, to have our names dragged into the matter in this way. The Attorney-General has been looking to me all the while he has been cross-examining the witness.
The President - This is very irregular, and (addressing Mr. T. Harrington) you, at least, Mr. Harrington, ought to know it is irregular. You cannot take part as counsel and witness, too.
Mr. T. Harrington - I am not appearing as witness. I am appearing as a profession gentleman.
The President - That is no reason for your interference. I desire you to cease.
Mr. T. Harrington - I am merely pointing out, my Lord, that my name has been mentioned in the matter, and, as a professional gentleman appearing before your Court, I claim the protection of your Court.
The President - I must ask you to cease.
Mr. T. Harrington proceeded to make some further remarks, when ----
The President, rising from his seat with a petulant gesture, observed, "Oh! Let the Court be adjourned, as I cannot restrain you."
The President turned to leave the Court, Mr. Justice Day following him in earnest conversation, and the Court was in commotion as the Judges left.

COMMISSIONERS RETURN - MR. HARRINGTON EXPLAINS.

Their Lordships were absent about ten minutes, during which period everybody in Court was in a state of fervish excitement. The rumour went round that the Court had adjourned for the day, and counsel and Parnellite Members entered into a very earnest conversation. In the midst of the tumult the ushers were heard shouting "Silence," and a few moments later the Judges made their appearance.
The Attorney-General was about to proceed with the examination of the witness, when
Mr. T. Harrington rose, and said: - Mr. Attorney, will you allow me to say a word or two. Then, addressing the Judges, he said, "My Lords, I didn't mean any disrespect to the Court, nor did I mean to bandy your Lordships in any way when I made the observation I did. But I should like to say that your Lordships' observations seemed to throw some doubt upon my statements, and thus I was, perhaps, guilty of more heat than I should have thrown into my observations. As that was the case, I hope your Lordships will accept my expressions of regret for what has occurred.
The President - I was going to observe that I found myself unable to preserve that decorum and sense of dignity which it is usual for persons to observe in appearing before such Courts as this, and I, therefore, adjourned in order that the heat might subside, and we might be able to proceed with the case in the usual and proper way. I accept your statement, Mr. Harrington, and am pleased you have made it - that you did not intend to give offence to the Court. But, at the same time, I must repeat, and I hope it will be remembered, that no person has a right while the examination of a witness is going on, to interrupt and make such observations. The opportunity must be waited for until the person who denies any insinuations of a witness is placed in the box to do so in accordance with the rules of the Court.
Sir Charles Russell - My Lord, it was not the statement of the witness.
The Attorney-General - Neither was it mine. Turning to the witness, the Attorney-General asked if he knew either of the Mr. Harringtons.
The witness replied that he did not think he did.
The Attorney-General - You told Sir Charles Russell that Mr. Harrington told you you would not be interfered with? - Yes, but that was a long time ago, and it was put in the paper, Sir.

THE PROCESS-SERVER'S STORY.

Giles Ray was then called. He is a man of 74 years of age, with white hair and beard, and only one arm. He was a process and writ server in Castlegregory, and he declared that he served a writ on the man Conor mentioned by a previous witness. "After that (he continued) a band of men came to my house one night. They broke open the door and came into the room where my wife was, and where my boys were having their supper."
What did they do to your wife? - Well, Sir, they took her, and they blindfolded her.
And what followed? - Then they took hold of me, Sir, and they cut off my ear (pointing to the right side of the face from which the ear was missing).
This statement had a sensational effect upon the audience, some of the ladies giving expression to their feelings very demonstratively.
The witness added that after his ear was cut off he was boycotted, and he was still under police protection.

THE PAPERS HE READ.

In reply to Sir Charles Russell, witness said the men who committed that gross outrage upon him were masked, and their faces were blackened. Witness protested that he did not know who was the Treasurer of the League, and denied that he knew anything about the League. Witness said he sometimes read the papers.
What paper do you read? - The Times, Sir, said the witness, amid laughter.
Sir Charles Russell explained that that was the Irish Times. "And what other papers do you read?" - "The Chronicle," replied the witness.
"The Sporting Chronicle?" queried Sir Charles, thus raising another laugh. - "No," again replied the witness. "The Limerick Chronicle."
Did you think that the Land League had anything to do with the outrage upon you? - "I know nothing whatever about the League," replied the witness. He, however, ultimately admitted that he did not consider that the League had anything to do with the outrage.

A LAND AGENT'S EVIDENCE.

A landlord's agent was the next witness. This was Mr. Arthur Bennett. He said he was agent to Mr. Blennerhasset, of Tralee. In 1881, he put two men, named John and Thomas Clifford, in possession of an evicted farm. Shortly afterward John Clifford came to witness, and stated that his brother Thomas had been visited by moonlighters and had been shot in the legs. Witness paid a visit to the farm, and found Thomas Clifford sitting before the fire. He had five bullets in his thigh and one had passed through his back. The Cliffords then left the farm, and witness put a man named Patrick Caird in possession. Caird was shot dead while getting home one night.
In answer to Sir Charles Russell witness said that some of Mr. Blennerhasset's tenants had obtained 25 per cent reduction in their rents at the Land Courts.
In reply to Mr. Biggar, witness said a man Pigg was hanged for the murder of Cahill.
Mr. Biggar - At his trial was the Jury packed? - "I am sure I do not know," replied the witness.
The President said he was very unwilling to interfere with gentlemen who appeared on their own behalf; but he must ask Mr. Biggar not to put such questions as that to the witnesses, as they could not answer them.
Mr. Biggar said he thought he was quite justified in doing so, because it was one of the charges against him that he had said in the district that the people should have a fair trial. It was, he said, a notorious fact, that Jury packing took place in Ireland in all political and agrarian trials, and, in fact, the Attorney-General was called "Peter the Packer." (Laughter.)

BOYCOTTED AT BALLYDUFF.

Edward Herbert, who said he lived at Ballyduff, was next called. He declared he was boycotted, and that the boycotting did not commence until the Land League was established. After that his house was watched night and day, as were also the members of his family, but since the suppression of the League the demeanour of the people had very much changed. As to the attitude of the people towards his family, Herbert said one of his little girls was completely terrified, and his father came home one night bleeding, having been stoned by a mob. In June, 1886, he himself was fired at while returning from Tralee Sessions. He was wounded, six bullet holes being found in his coat, and one bullet entering his arm.
Herbert told Mr. Lockwood that he "feared" he had not read in the Kerry Sentinel any denunciation of outrage, but, on the contrary, that "they made little of every outrage."
Asked by Mr. Biggar if he suggested that the National League was a secret society, Herbert replied, "Well, I know that the League encouraged these outrages." He couldn't, however, swear this of his own personal knowledge.
Herbert was followed by William Flynn, a sergeant of the R.I.C., who was stationed at Ballyduff in the year 1880. He gave no other evidence that that which corroborated the statement that Herbert was fired at in 1886.
The Commission shortly afterwards adjourned.

MR. DAVITT AND THE LETTERS.

The London Correspondent of the Liverpool Post says: - "Mr. Davitt had a look yesterday at the letters in his name which the Times alleged to be forged. I understand that he recognised two of them as his own genuine production, and of a nature quite pleasant for him to be confronted with. The third he regards as a stupid concoction, and quite harmless. The inspection of the contents of Box B was a matter of much amusement to those concerned. A subject of more concern to Mr. Davitt are some despatches from this country appearing in the American Press, and representing him in the capacity of an associate of the Times."

Source: The Echo, Friday November 16, 1888, pp. 2-3

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Karen Trenouth
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Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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