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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Thu 28 Feb 2013 - 21:54

Ninety-ninth Day of Proceedings - Wednesday, July 3, 1889

PARNELL COMMISSION.
MR. DAVITT'S CROSS-EXAMINATION.

The cross-examination of Mr. Michael Davitt was resumed by the Attorney-General this morning. The early questions had reference to the trial of Mr. Davitt for treason felony in 1870. Mr. Davitt said that against his express wish Forrester, the man upon whom the letter read last night was found when arrested, appeared at his trial as a witness. He refused to say whether Forrester attended Fenian meetings, because he always took an oath not to reveal the names of any of those present, and he could not now answer that question without Forrester's permission. The Attorney-General didn't press the point, but read the account of the trial from the Times of that period.

MR. DAVITT'S COUNSEL AT THE TRIAL.

In the speech of the counsel for Mr. Davitt, he pleaded that Mr. Davitt was not engaged in sending arms to Ireland in connection with the Fenian conspiracy. Hearing so much of outrages he had got these revolvers together to send to Ireland for the protection of the landlords. Mr. Davitt now explained that he knew nothing of the line his counsel would take in defence until the speech was delivered, and that plea very much surprised and annoyed him. "I am not the man," he added, "who would resort to subterfuge, even to save myself from penal servitude."

WOULD STILL RESORT TO PHYSICAL FORCE.

I understand you do not disapprove of an appeal to physical force? - Certainly I do not.
Not even now? - No. I say that if we had sufficient physical force in Ireland to justify us in thinking we could secure the national independence of Ireland we have quite sufficient cause to appeal to physical force.
And you yourself would not hesitate in taking part in it? - No, I would not.
And that was your view in these years? - Yes, but I knew there wasn't a ghost of a chance of success; therefore I left the physical force movement, and joined the Constitutional body.

THE ATTACK ON CLERKENWELL PRISON.

Of the attempt to blow up Clerkenwell Prison Mr. Davitt said he could not express approval. He thought it cowardly to blow up any place through which innocent lives would be sacrificed. But, as to the Manchester martyrs, he admitted he had always landed them as good, honest men, and declared that if he had been ordered to go down to Manchester to attempt the rescue of the prisoners he would gladly have gone.

NO NAMES.

Another reference followed to the meeting of the Supreme Council of the I.R.B. in Paris, at which Mr. Matt Harris was present with Mr. Davitt. Again Mr. Davitt declined to reveal the names of his other colleagues. "I have the permission of Mr. Matt Harris to mention his name (he said), and if I communicated with the others I might have theirs. I pledged my honour that I would not reveal their names, and if I did so now I should be guilty of a dishonourable act in handing them over perhaps to ruin."
But the Attorney-General could not respect the pledge, nor could the President. "But," said the latter, when appealed to by Sir Richard, "we had better wait till the end of the cross-examination, and see what steps can be taken."
A few moments later, and Mr. Davitt's views on land nationalisation were again given, he declaring that he wished he could get it tomorrow. As to the policy of the Land League, he wished to impress upon the Attorney-General that that had become the policy of the Tory Party now. (Laughter.)

ABOUT MR. O'KELLY.

Here, again, the Attorney-General met with a little opposition. Mr. Davitt, referring to the fact that when he first went to America he visited Mr. J.J. O'Kelly, the Attorney asked whether Mr. O'Kelly had been a Fenian, Mr. Davitt refused to say. "Had Mr. O'Kelly distributed arms? Had he been engaged with Mr. Davitt in the distribution of arms?" To each Mr. Davitt replied, very quickly, "I prefer you would ask Mr. O'Kelly." A little later on came another protest from Mr. Davitt.
"Was Dr. Carroll a member of the Clan-Na-Gael?" asked the Attorney-General
"I cannot say without Dr. Carroll's permission," was the only reply that could be obtained.
The Attorney-General read out several more names. Were these people (he asked) members of the Clan-Na-Gael? But he always received the same reply. - "I can't answer the question," came from Mr. Davitt.

MEETING WITH GENERAL MILLAN.

Then we come to a visit paid to Ireland, shortly after Mr. Davitt's visit to America, by General Millan. The Attorney-General desired to know the object of Millan, he being an extreme man. Mr. Davitt declined to say, on the ground that his meeting with Millan was one upon which he swore on oath he would retain the secret. The Attorney-General pressed the question in this form: - "Was General Millan here for any other object than to inspect the I.R.B.?" Mr. Davitt was not prepared to say that he had any other object.

JOHN DEVOY.

From it the cross-examination passed to John Devoy, who made a visit to Ireland about the same time as Millan. In reference to that visit several questions were asked, but ultimately Mr. Davitt said that, so far as he knew, Devoy came over to see his family, and possibly urged upon his friends to support the Land League. Deviating, Mr. Davitt said he believed every Irishman who had been a Separatist was willing to be satisfied with what Mr. Parnell demanded, and he certainly would have given a loyal support to Mr. Parnell's policy. As to the English people, he did not entertain any hatred for them, but they had "done him more wrong than any man of the Irish race."

MILLAN'S VISIT AGAIN.

Again we went back to the mysterious visit of Millan. About that time, also, Dr. W. Carroll visited Dublin, and a meeting was held in Dublin, but of the object Mr. Davitt declined to speak. As to the distribution of arms, Mr. Davitt said he had no knowledge of such a distribution in 1879, but if it took place, it was obviously for the purpose of carrying out the plans of the I.R.B.
At this point the Court adjourned for luncheon.

LETTER TO BRADY.

After luncheon the Attorney-General cross-examined Mr. Davitt as to a letter of John Boyle O'Reilly, eulogising the deeds of Brady who was arrested in connection with the Phoenix Park murders. Mr. Davitt doubted whether the letter was genuine, and said if it was it was one he himself should not have written. He could not make a hero of a man who had been convicted as Brady had, but at the same time he asked them to remember that Brady acted in what he believed to be a patriotic manner.

"A BOMBASTIC MANIFESTO."

Speaking of a manifesto issued from America in 1879 by John Devoy and others, Mr. Davitt said it was "one of those foolish, bombastic manifestoes issued from America, which did a great deal of harm to the Irish cause."
(The report will be continued.)

MR. O'BRIEN IN COURT.

Much to the surprise of his colleagues, Mr. William O'Brien entered the Court during the morning. He only reached England this morning. He occupied a seat in the well of the Court, and received a very affectionate welcome from his colleagues.

"TIMES'" COUNSEL'S FEES.

The London Correspondent of the Freeman's Journal is in a position to confirm, on most reliable authority, the rumour that none of the Times counsel have received one farthing of fees up to the present moment.

DURATION OF THE COMMISSION.

The Exchange Telegraph Company have the best authority for the statement that the Parnell Commission will not terminate before the Long Vacation, and that the Commissioners are determined not to sit after the 12th of August. They will resume the inquiry in October.

THE CRONIN MURDER.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT ARREST.

At length the police have effected the arrest of John Kunze, who has been indicted for complicity in the murder of Dr. Cronin. The Chicago Correspondent of the Times says he has been identified as the man who drove Coughlin to Carlson Cottage on the evening of May 4 by the milkman Mertes; and also by the stenographer James, as one of the persons seen in March last at 117, South Clark-street. Kunze was arrested at Chicago soon after the indictment was found, and rumours of a confession by him are circulated. Kunze, it is said, acknowledges that he drove Coughlin, using a horse belonging to the iceman O'Sullivan. By comparing hours the belief has arisen that Kunze took Coughlin to the cottage after Dr. Cronin had arrived. The person who drove Cronin thither is believed to be a stranger in Chicago, and there is still no clue to him.

THE MCINERNY MYSTERY.
THEORY OF MURDER STILL ENTERTAINED.

SEVERAL SUSPICIOUS OCCURRENCES.

Dr. McInerny is still missing. In the opinion of John Devoy, who was interviewed by a representative of the New York Herald, he has fallen at the hands of the same men who murdered Dr. Cronin. It seems that Cronin, McInerny, McCasey, and Devoy have devoted themselves to tracing the enormous sum of Clan-Na-Gael money spent during the Sullivan regime. It is now (says the Correspondent of the New York Herald) an open secret that these four men were preparing to use their knowledge in order to drive the Sullivan party out of power in the councils of the Clan-Na-Gael. Dr. McInerny as far back as 1885 made charges of dishonesty and fraud against the administration. He knew exactly what each piece of active work should cost, and he was also in a position to back up his charges by the facts that immense sums were being claimed for the expense of perpetrating outrages.

WAS LOMASNEY A VICTIM?

Several strange rumours are afloat in America. It is now said that the late Doctor and Mr. McInerny are not the only enemies of the triangle who had been removed because they held proofs of dishonesty and treachery. John Scanlan yesterday said: - "You remember Captain Lomasney, of Detroit, who was supposed to have been killed while blowing up London-bridge. It was given out that he was in a boat under the bridge at the time of the alleged premature explosion; but his body was never found, and there was another Cronin conspiracy at the back of poor Lomasney's death. I believe that Lomasney never left Detroit, because the triangle had stolen the money which they afterwards charged to the mythical mission of Lomasney, and his death would bury the proof of their guilt for ever."

A SUSPICIOUS FACT.

The police regard with some suspicion the fact that just about the time of Dr. McInerny's disappearance, Murphy Brothers, who rented the house in Nixon-street, where he lived, also departed. An alleged friend of Dr. McInerny claims to have seen him since his disappearance and to know where he is; but so suspicious have the public become since the series of false interviews with Dr. Cronin which followed his death, that nothing but Dr. McInerny's reappearance will satisfy them that he is still alive. One reason which induces the general public to believe him murdered, is that in a veiled way a campaign of slanderous suggestions, like those so successfully used against Dr. Cronin, has already been begun against Dr. McInerny. Yesterday there was what the Correspondent from whom we quote describes as "a wild rumour that 'Number One,' who planned the Phoenix Park murders, is responsible for Dr. Cronin's murder, and that his arrest will expose the whole of that famous plot."

COLONEL SAUNDERSON, M.P., AT LIVERPOOL.

Colonel Saunderson, M.P., in addressing a demonstration of Orangemen at Liverpool last evening, urged all Protestants to join the Orange Order. The gallant speaker justified his statement made in Parliament that Mr. Parnell held the throttle valve of crime in Ireland, and contended that it was impossible for Mr. Gladstone or his colleagues to define Home Rule.

Source: The Echo, Wednesday July 3, 1889, Page 3

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