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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Thu 7 Mar 2013 - 3:31


Sir Henry James had quite a number of explanations to offer to the Court when he resumed his speech today. This duty over, Sir Henry returned to the accounts of the Land League. He said that very large sums of money had from time to time been received by the officers of the League, notably by Egan, and no account had been offered of the expenditure of these amounts. He cared not whether the amount was 60,000 pounds or 58,000 pounds; what he contended was that there being no accounts, there was ample opportunity for evil-doing. Grave doubts, indeed, remained. They had proof that as much as 246,000 pounds had been received for the League by Egan alone. Of this 72,000 pounds went to the Ladies' Land League, but they had never been offered one word of explanation as to the expenditure of this sum. With the exception of 14,000 pounds for relief, nothing of the sums received by the Land League had been accounted for.


The books produced were not, Sir Henry contended, those they were in search of. It was an extraordinary thing that Mr. Campbell, who wrote the letter about the removal of the books to London, never offered one word of explanation as to the nature of the books so removed, and was never asked to explain.
Mr. Davitt - I think it only fair to Mr. Campbell to say that he attended the Court for some days on subpoena from the Times.
The President - He ought to have been called, and have given evidence on the subject, by the respondents.
Sir Henry James, continuing, said he should submit that these books would have shown that crime was committed with the cognisance of the Central Branch of the Land League, and that the central body not only did not discourage that crime, but that it so far encouraged it as to compensate those who committed it. Sir Henry then commented on the evidence of Mr. Fergusson, which he considered very exhaustively. He especially pointed out that Mr. Fergusson declared that he saw nothing morally wrong in granting money for medical aid to criminals. Counsel produced the Horan letter, initialled by Fergusson, which asked for money for two injured men who had been medically treated, and who, it was said, were injured either in a moonlighting affray or in an encounter with the police when upon a moonlighting expedition. Mr. Quinn, who was the treasurer of the League at the period to which the letter referred, had never entered the box to offer one word of explanation. Therefore, counsel submitted that this showed complicity in crime on the part of the Land League.


Sir Henry next entered into a comparison between the year 1879, when Mr. Parnell yielded to the solicitations of Mr. Davitt to become the head of the Land League, and the year 1881, when Mr. Parnell was in Kilmainham. He contended that at the latter period the causes that had moved the peasantry had passed away, that beneficent harvests followed, and that remedial legislation removed the causes of complaint from the peasantry. And yet in 1881 Mr. Parnell left Ireland in a state of crime and degradation in which it had never been before. The Land League had in two years converted Fenians into Moonlighters, and the men who had been brave enough to face the consequences of their acts into assassins who lurked behind stone walls.


Here Sir James asked permission to again leave Ireland, and, taking events in the sequence of time, to again speak about America. In this connection, he said, he should show that there were two branches of the Land League in America - the Conservative branch and the branch which sympathised with the Clan-Na-Gael in all its aims and objects. He contended that the Clan-Na-Gael was the sole leader of the League in America, and that that body was responsible for the collection of the funds subscribed to carry on the work.
Here the Court rose for luncheon.
(The report will be continued.)

Source: The Echo, Tuesday November 19, 1889, Page 3

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

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