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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Sat 2 Mar 2013 - 2:33

One hundred and fourth Day of Proceedings - Thursday, July 11, 1889


One of the witnesses who was cross-examined yesterday was recalled again this morning, and further questioned by Sir Henry James. This was Mr. J. Meehan, the chairman of the Maryborough Town Commissioners; and the questions had reference to the books of the local branch of the League, which he produced. Several of the resolutions in these books denounced persons who had taken evicted farms and other "obnoxious persons." Upon these Mr. Meehan gave his views of boycotting, which were similar in every respect to those advanced by other witnesses. In a report of one of the meetings of the branch, it was stated that one member charged another with drinking with "Mr. John Atkinson in a public-house." This caused great amusement in Court, and was styled by the witness as a very ridiculous notice.


Then Mr. Foley, M.P., again came up for cross-examination, as to the Byrne cheque of 100 pounds, to which the Times attach so much importance. This cheque, Mr. Foley said, was drawn by Egan in favour of Byrne on Alexander's Bank. He cashed the cheque for Byrne, and understood the money was for League purposes. Questioned by Mr. Murphy, he said that he had certainly cashed other cheques for Byrne, and after Byrne left London he revealed this transaction to a Government detective who called upon him. The cheque was torn from the return cheque book, into which it had been pasted, but that was done by his clerk after he received the subpoena, and for the purpose of complying with the terms of that document.
This latter statement was supported by Mr. Foley's clerk, Mr. George Shrubsole.
Mr. Daniel Ryan, the Mayor of Cork, then came up for cross-examination by Mr. Atkinson.
As to the steps the Cork League took in denouncing crime the witness was examined at some length, and he adhered to the assertion that the League always denounced crime.


The Chairman of the Town Commissioners of Longford, Mr. Peter Flood, was the next witness. His examination by Mr. Hart produced the bare intelligence that the Land League was formed in the district in 1885. But to Mr. Davitt he communicated his opinion that the landlords were the great cause of crime in Ireland, adding that the want of sympathy on the part of the police and public arose from the belief of the people that the police were the servants of the landlords and the enemies of the people.
Mr. Flood was cross-examined at great length by the Attorney-General as to resolutions passed by the Longford branch.


Mr. John Hammond, J.P., of the town of Carlow, was the next witness. He also deposed to the formation of the Land League, its suppression, and the formation of the National League. He declared that the operation of the League contributed very much to the suppression of crime and outrage.
Mr. Foley, the manager of the Menagh branch of the Leinster and Munster Bank; Mr. Robinson, the chairman of the Kingstown Commissioners; Mr. R. Sweeney, of Ballyshannon, and Mr. Edward Hughes, of Belfast, all testified to the same effect.


Then came Mr. Thomas Joseph Condon, M.P. for East Tipperary, who described his connection with the League. He admitted that he had been a Fenian, but declared that some years before he became a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party he severed his connection with the body.
Mr. Atkinson was cross-examining Mr. Condon when the Court adjourned for luncheon.


After luncheon Mr. Atkinson continued his cross-examination. Mr. Condon admitted that he had attended a meeting in commemoration of the death of Charles Kichlin in 1885, but he could not say that the meeting was composed of Fenians, because he was not then a member of the body. He was then taken through several of his speeches, which he explained in extenso.
Re-examined by Mr. Lockwood, Mr. Condon said he did not know, as a matter of fact, who paid the expenses of Mr. O'Donovan Rossa at the election alluded to, but he had been given to understand that the Carlton Club paid them.
The President - Well, well, such statements should not be made without evidence on the point.
Thomas Berrond, of Ardagh, in the county Mayo, denied that Macaulay, the man convicted of what is known as the Crossmalina conspiracy, was a member of the Land or National League.
Joseph Kelly, of Crossmalina, gave similar evidence.
John M'Carthy was a witness of the same character.


John M'Carthy, of Killcogh, refuted statements made by the informer Iago as to the League deciding that the man Scanlan should be fired at for taking an evicted farm.
Sir Henry James asked that the cross-examination of the witness might be adjourned, as there were a great many matters in connection with the local branch of the League they wanted to investigate.
Mr. Reid said that placed him in a difficulty. They had only a few more witnesses to call, and their case would shortly terminate.
However, the cross-examination was postponed, it being understood that, except for the examination of some witnesses to be called by Sir C. Russell, the case for the Parnellites will practically end in a few days.
The Court then rose.


Mr. John Crockett, Secretary of the Ulster Loyalist Union, has challenged Mr. William O'Brien, M.P., to a public discussion as to whether there is any analogy between Trades Unions and the "Plan of Campaign." Mr. O'Brien has replied thanking Mr. Crockett for the spirit in which the proposal is made, but adding that, under present circumstances, he could not undertake a discussion of such importance.


Mr. Wm. O'Brien, M.P., arrived at Tipperary from Limerick Junction, where he had stayed over the night, at about eleven o'clock this morning, and received a warm reception from the people. His trial on the charge of conspiracy, arising out of his speech at a public meeting in the town on Sunday, the 23rd of June, was fixed for twelve o'clock. The town was crowded with police.
The case against William O'Brien, M.P., and Mr. William Lane, M.P., was called today at noon, at the Court-house, Tipperary, where Mr. J.B. Irwin and Colonel Bruen, Stipendiaries, sat specially for the purpose. Mr. O'Brien attended, but Mr. Lane, jointly charged, did not answer. Mr. George Bolton, Crown Solicitor, applied for an adjournment, and the application was granted, though the defendants' counsel strongly objected.


When Mr. Patrick Egan was appointed United States Minister to Chili, he thought it expedient to get rid of his shares in United Ireland. He accordingly (so the London Correspondent of the Liverpool Post says) transferred them to Mr. Davitt, who is now, nominally at least, one of the largest proprietors in this prosperous journal.


Whatever economics Mr. Walters may have found it necessary to introduce into the financial direction of the Times, he still spares no money in prosecuting his crusade against the Irish National Members. As soon as the character of the evidence in the inquest at Chicago on Dr. Cronin was made known, Mr. Soames telegraphed to an agent in Chicago to procure a certified verbatim copy. The agent a local solicitor named Collier, was further instructed to bring the evidence to London himself, with any information he could obtain appearing to connect the Land League with the Clan-Na-Gael. Mr. Collier is now in London with his evidence, which, the London Correspondent of the Liverpool Post hears, covers over a thousand pages of typewriting. He will most probably appear as a witness in the rebutting case should a closer study of the Cronin affair seem to afford a favourable opening.

Source: The Echo, Thursday July 11, 1889, Page 3

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

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