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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Fri 22 Feb 2013 - 22:11

Eighty-seventh Day of Proceedings - Tuesday, May 28, 1889



What promised to be a very exciting incident was nipped in the bud at the outset this morning. The books of the Land League, or rather the absence of all official records of its proceedings, has been a very prominent point, made a great deal of on the part of the Times. There certainly was a great deal of mystery around these documents; but today it was all cleared up. Mr. Reid intimated that he had the books of the League in Court. After Mr. Parnell had given his evidence, Mr. Lewis secured them. Mr. Reid laid a great deal of emphasis on the fact that the whereabouts of the books was known by Mr. Maloney, who was subpoenaed by the Times, and of whom they had never asked a question concerning them.
Mr. Justice Smith was anxious to know if the cash-book was amongst those produced, and Mr. Reid replied in the affirmative.
Sir Henry James was concerned that the motives of the Times' counsel should not be misrepresented. As a matter of fact, Maloney was subpoenaed for the identification of handwriting only, and it was not to be supposed that they knew what was in his possession, or that they could produce the books through him.
Mr. Reid retorted that the books were actually referred to in Dr. Kenny's affidavit as being in his possession.
Just prior to this little discussion Mr. Reid applied that Mr. Condon and Mr. John O'Connor might be brought over to the Court, explaining that they were now in custody in Ireland.
The President replied, somewhat curtly, "Very well."


Then the Court settled down to the usual routine. Evidence was given by Mr. McKay, a Cork reporter, as to the meetings of the League he had attended. He declared that crime was always denounced; in fact, so frequently, that O'Connell's declaration that, "He who commits crime gives strength to the enemy," became so hackneyed that reporters invariably took no notice in their reports of denunciations.
A tall, venerable-looking priest, Canon Shenkwin, of Bantry, added little to the story. He denied altogether the statements of witnesses he had presided over and attended meetings in connection with the tenants in the neighbourhood.
Father Murray, priest of a parish near Cork, explained the events succeeding the murder of a man named Regan. It was asserted by the murdered man's daughter, who was called by the Times, that the rev. Father refused to go to the bedside of the dying man. This Father Murray denied, but explained that, in accordance with custom, he sent his curate.


The first Irish Protestant clergyman who has yet been called followed Father Murray. This was the rev. Mr. Anderson, rector of Dreenah, a tall gentleman, with grey hair falling carelessly over the forehead in a neatly-trimmed fringe, and iron-grey beard. He, like the Catholic clergy, was emphatic in his declarations that it was necessary an organisation such as the Land League should have been formed. Mr. Anderson raised a laugh by declaring that even he had preached against land-grabbing. On one occasion he preached a sermon entitled, "The Sin of Land-grabbing," and that attracted so great attention that his church was more crowded than on any other occasion. Yet another laugh. The rev. gentleman was the only boycotted person in the parish, he said - that was, he was shunned by the landlords, who caused a reduction in his salary.
Father Morrissy, who was once president of the Banted Branch of the Land League, produced a couple of books of the defunct organisation. From these Mr. Lockwood read a few resolutions denouncing outrage.


After the usual adjournment for luncheon, Mr. Reid wished to take the opinion of the Judges about the holidays. He suggested that the Court should rise next Friday, and not sit again till the 18th of June.
The President was very willing to accede, but he impressed upon Mr. Reid that he expected some intimation as to when the case for the Nationalists would terminate.
Mr. Reid replied that it would be subject to the cross-examination, which has already taken up a great deal of time. Their case would be disposed of very shortly.
"May I take it that you will dispose of it - well, before the Long Vacation?" asked the President.
"I mean not only so far as you are concerned, but do you think you will leave us time to play our part before the Long Vacation?"
Mr. Reid hoped so. He calculated that they would finish their evidence early in July if the cross-examination was not so lengthy as it had been.
The suggestion of Mr. Reid was accordingly acceded to.
Canon Ryan, the priest at Aghado described the Land League as being opposed to crime.
(The report will be continued.)




The Times Correspondent states that the Chicago police have adopted the following theory concerning Dr. Cronin's murder: -
That, having been taken to the cottage, ostensibly to attend a patient, he was attacked and knocked down with blows on the head by two men; that his body was then thrust into the trunk, and that a third conspirator, who had meanwhile procured a waggon, carried the trunk away.
Chicago has always - the Daily News Correspondent says - been notorious for irresponsible newspaper reports, and is outdoing herself now that the Cronin mystery has come during a dull season. One of the reports current is that Cronin was condemned by a Committee of the Clan-Na-Gael without being heard, and that his trial closely followed upon Le Caron's testimony.


The New York Herald - speaking with positiveness - gives this version of this report: - "It has been clearly shown by the dead man's friends that his removal was ordered by a committee representing the Clan-Na-Gael Society. Charges of traitorous conduct were preferred against him at a meeting of the Clan-Na-Gael Camp. He was found guilty, and his death was ordered. The charge was based on a statement of the British spy Le Caron, that there were four spies in America. Within forty-eight hours after this news was cabled from London, nearly every Clan-Na-Gael camp in America had met and passed resolutions declaring in favour of a rigid hunt for the four spies. Suspicion justly, or unjustly, pointed at Dr. Cronin; a committee was appointed to try him, and he was convicted without having had a chance to make his defence. His assassins were brought from other cities to carry out the mandate of the committee. Dr. Cronin, his friends say, was not aware of his trial and conviction. He had expected for years that his enemies would one day attempt to kill him; but when the trial finally took place he had had no intimation of it."


One of the latest arrests is Peter M'Geehan, a blacksmith, of Philadelphia. M'Geehan - who is stated by the Standard Correspondent to have been a member of the Sullivan faction of the Clan-Na-Gael - left Philadelphia mysteriously in February, saying he was going to Montana. Instead of doing so, he went to Chicago. He was considered a wild talker; but he was never openly connected with violent deeds. On Sunday he was arrested on suspicion. He was unable to account for himself on the night of Dr. Cronin's murder. The estate agent, however, identifies him as the man who took the premises overlooking Cronin's offices. The deceased man knew M'Geehan, and once, in the presence of witnesses, charged him with a murderous intent. This M'Geehan denied, said it was a lie. The Police, however, aver that the chain is tightening round him.


M'Geehan's is not the only additional arrest. A man of the name of King, who is alleged to have hired a man to steal the vehicle, in which the trunk containing the victim's body was carried, has also been arrested. A detective named Whelan, a friend of Coughlin, has been suspended from duty pending further investigation into the murder. Chief Inspector Hubbard, when interviewed yesterday, admitted, too (according to the New York Herald) that Alexander Sullivan was practically under arrest. "We have different ways of arresting people," he said. "We are employing some of them in this case. It is not necessary to go and take a man by the shoulder, drag him into the station, and lock him up. Alexander Sullivan can go anywhere in this city, but you understand the rest. He cannot leave Chicago."


CHICAGO, May 28. - An ice man, named Sullivan, residing near the cottage where Dr. Cronin was murdered, has made a confession to the authorities, which is expected to lead to the arrest of the murderers.

Source: The Echo, Tuesday May 28, 1889, Page 3

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

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