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Parnell Commission Inquiry

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Parnell Commission Inquiry

Post by Karen on Thu 7 Mar 2013 - 7:01


"The kindly, friendly R.C.C.,
The Church's bravest soldier he;
The hope of Ireland, bond or free,
The fearless patriot, R.C.C."

This was the text Sir Henry James took up this morning. He entered on his discourse upon it very briefly last night, but today he dwelt upon it much more elaborately. What he sought to show was what Mr. T.D. Sullivan, the author of these lines, meant when he described the Roman Catholic Curate as the "hope of Ireland" and the "fearless patriot." To accomplish this, it became necessary to analyse some of the public utterances of certain priests in different parts of Ireland. Accordingly he marshalled a whole host of extracts from speeches already before the Court, containing elements of a somewhat extreme nature. In one of these a curate was shown to have spoken of the effectual work night-boys could do in seeing that tenants did not go into the rent-offices by stealth. In another a young priest advised his hearers to assist nobody, even in the most extreme distress, who was not a member of the League; while in another instance a priest actually declined to hold any communication with the friends of a murdered man, or to assist them in procuring a coffin, the provision of which had been prohibited by the League. One sentence in a priest's speech was more particularly laid before their Lordships. It occurred in a discourse of Father Consadine, who declared that anyone who refused to serve the League deserved "to go down to the cold, dead, damnation of disgrace."


Moving from this view of the case, Sir Henry described the attitude of the League towards crime. He expressly showed that Mr. O'Brien, representing United Ireland, did not use the great influence of that paper for the purpose of uttering any words in denunciation of crime, or of trying to lessen the sad record of crime. Only when moonlighting developed into a system of marauding did Mr. O'Brien denounce it. Sir Henry went on to refer to other denunciations of crime. He pointed out that a new condition of things had come into existence at the beginning of 1886, upon the accession to power of the Government, which Mr. Parnell and his supporters became ardent supporters of. It was only in February, 1886, when it became necessary to satisfy the demand made by the English supporters of Mr. Parnell, that any steps were taken to repress outrages. At that time the League found it necessary to refuse a grant to a branch in the neighbourhood of which outrages had occurred, but he contended that the altered condition of things made this necessary. The "black lists," as compiled by the League, was the question next touched upon, and Sir Henry was describing this branch of the action of the League when the Court rose for luncheon.


After luncheon, Sir Henry James commented upon what he called the difficulty the Times had had in obtaining information of the work of the inner circle of the Land League, from whence, he contended, came the controlling influence of crime and outrage. Here he paid a tribute to the Attorney-General. He defended Sir Richard Webster from the observations made respecting his conduct of the case, and claimed that there was no real necessity for him to say one word on behalf of Her Majesty's Attorney-General. Of course, the Court thoroughly understood that it was not possible for counsel in any case to vouch absolutely for the accuracy of the information upon which he relied for the statement of his case. From first to last there had been obstacles placed in the way of those who were the originators of the case to prevent them placing before the Court a thoroughly accurate and reliable case.


He need only trouble the Court with two cases, and these were the conduct of the witnesses Coffey and Molloy. These men, both of whom incurred the censure of the Court, showed by their conduct how much it had been attempted to mislead the Times in the procuration of the information which went to make up their case. But he contended that, notwithstanding all these difficulties, the door had been opened - the truth had been told. Those who were in the confidence of the innermost recesses of the Land League had come forward and revealed to the Court events that were occurring day by day. Of this class of witness fourteen had been called, independent of Le Caron and Mulqueeny. After enumerating these, Sir Henry James proceeded to an examination of their testimony.
(The report will be continued.)


The London Correspondent of the Irish Times says the two Chicago detectives who have been engaged in London for some time past in endeavouring to hunt out a fugitive who makes an important figure in the Cronin tragedy, have crossed over to Ireland, where they continue the chase.


CHICAGO, Nov. 21. - At yesterday afternoon's sitting of the Court, James Lyman, ex-Congressman Finnerty, Matthew Brady, and others gave evidence to the effect that the members of the Clan-Na-Gael in Camp 20 had no knowledge of any inner circle. The defence later called State Attorney Longenecker, who admitted that he was present when the suspect Beggs was examined before the Coroner's Jury.

Source: The Echo, Thursday November 21, 1889, Page 3

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

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