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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Wed 6 Mar 2013 - 8:31

One hundred and nineteenth Day of Proceedings - Wednesday, November 6, 1889


When the Court met this morning, Sir Henry James briefly referred to that branch of the American portion of the case which he was discussing last night. He then reverted to the articles written by the Special Correspondent of the New York Herald during the famine of 1879, laying stress upon one which went to show that through the period of the famine the land agitation was at a standstill because the leaders were engrossed in the relief of distress. Receding again, he touched upon Mr. Davitt's tour in America, contending that it had been shown that Mr. Davitt had, throughout his movements, been keeping the Extremists in touch, and appealing to their sentiments and feeling. Of Mr. Matthew Harris, counsel said that gentleman, Parliamentarian or not, became a member of the revolutionary body. So far as they could trace, that connection was not severed up to 1880, and it was shown that during that association he assisted in the distribution of arms - a distribution which was always effected sub rosa - and that at the end of '79 and the commencement of '80, the peasantry in the West of Ireland were thoroughly well armed. What, then, did they find at that period? They found a dormant peasantry, a people who had to be aroused to action, a people well armed, surrounded by trusted lieutenants of the Revolutionary Party. He submitted that that condition of affairs was known to the prominent members of the Parliamentary Party, including Mr. Parnell, and especially known to Mr. Davitt, Patrick Egan, Brennan, and Matthew Harris.


Of the Hardtmann speech of Mr. Biggar, Sir Henry James said it was Mr. Parnell's sad lot to sit by the side of one of his Parliamentary colleagues and hear him counsel the sending forth of a man of a character every right-thinking person must execrate. And yet no remonstrance was offered. In America Mr. Parnell was received by Fenians, his meetings were attended by Fenians, and in his presence assassination was counselled. Sir Henry then produced the speech-book - the record of the speeches read in the course of the Commission - and submitted that all the speeches advocated the total separation of Ireland from England, the destruction of landlordism, and the treatment of persons who took evicted farms. These objects, he submitted, were the avowed objects of the League.


Here, again, Sir Henry made a step backward, a second time discussing the argument of Sir Charles Russell that where distress was most prevalent there was a greater amount of crime. He said he would endeavour to show that where the distress was greatest crime did not exist, and where the country was comparatively the most prosperous crime was most to be found. If he showed this, and if he showed that where the Land League was crime was more prevalent than elsewhere, he should ask their Lordships to say that what the Times alleged - that the Land League fostered and nurtured crime - was substantially proved. To substantiate this Sir Henry laboured through a vast amount of documents, handing up to the Judges maps by which the different areas were very easily distinguishable. This occupied the Court for an hour and a half before luncheon.
(The report will be continued.)

Source: The Echo, Wednesday November 6, 1889, Page 3

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

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