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Parnell Commission Inquiry - END OF COMMISSION INQUIRY

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Parnell Commission Inquiry - END OF COMMISSION INQUIRY

Post by Karen on Thu 7 Mar 2013 - 7:28


Quite a distinguished company assembled today to witness the closing scenes of the Parnell Commission. Among them were Lady Rayleigh, Lady Charles and Miss Russell, Lady Smith (Mr. Justice Smith's wife), Miss Lindley (daughter of Lord Justice Lindley), Miss James, Lord Stratheden, and Captain O'Shea. Of course Major Le Caron was in his usual seat on the Times side of the Court, and next him sat Mulqueeney, who was called with reference to certain events that transpired at the Westminster-chambers of the League prior to the Phoenix-park murder. The cynosure of all eyes was Lord Randolph Churchill, who entered the Court just after eleven o'clock and took a seat in the well by the side of Captain O'Shea.


The early portion of Sir H. James's speech had reference to events in America subsequent to the Washington Convention of 1882. He said he would show that, step by step, the Clan-Na-Gael became paramount in the body which governed the Irish-American movement, that it took up the policy of Government, that that body was controlled by the Clan-Na-Gael, and was substantially nothing more than a body for carrying out the policy of the Clan-Na-Gael. To prove this more conclusively he pointed to a great mass of documentary evidence, most of which came into the possession of the Court through Le Caron. He claimed that Sir Charles Russell had never thrown any doubt upon the authenticity of these documents, which were not sent to this country for purposes of the inquiry, but were delivered to the authorities long before the Special Commission was thought of. He should submit that the plots to blow up London-bridge were discussed in their entirety by the Clan-Na-Gael.


The Philadelphia Convention of 1883 was referred to at some length. The object was to bear out Sir Henry's argument as to the continual growth of the predominance and influence of the Clan-Na-Gael. He contended that from that date the Nationalist movement was bound hand and foot to the extreme section, and that it was from this source the funds came for the support of the Irish M.P.'s.
Here Mr. Davitt rose, and pointed out to the Court that Sir Henry had spoken of a Mr. John Byrne as an enemy of the Clan-Na-Gael, but had omitted to say that this same gentleman was subsequently elected vice-president.
Sir Henry James, courteously resenting the interruption, assured Mr. Davitt that he had already mentioned the fact. Continuing his speech, counsel considered the "split" that occurred in the revolutionary body in the autumn of 1883. It was then that the two factions became opposed, the original body and the Sullivanites - those who seceded from the Clan-Na-Gael at the bidding of Alexander Sullivan. From this he went to a review of the subsequent action of Patrick Egan, who, he said, became so active a member of the Clan-Na-Gael that he was found in 1884 forming a camp in Lincoln. Then came a brief reference to the Boston Convention in that year, which Sir Henry was discussing when the Court adjourned for luncheon.

After luncheon the Court presented a scene of great animation. It was crowded in almost every part, reminding one of the sensational days during which Pigott occupied the witness-box.
Resuming his speech, Sir Henry James again examined the events taking place in America after the Chicago Convention, all of which have been mentioned in the course of the inquiry.


He went on to submit that he had established that the American organisations had passed into the hands of the Clan-Na-Gael and the dynamite party, and from thence came the source which sprang the vitality of Parliamentary action in this country. He made a passing allusion to the banking accounts and the results the books showed. He said the examination revealed that out of the large fund that came from America in 1886, 7,556 pounds was paid to the members of the Irish Parliamentary Party in England, and in 1887 10,500 pounds was similarly paid over. His proposition was, therefore, that the money that had found its way into the Parliamentary Fund here came through the action of the Clan-Na-Gael, and passed through the hands of such men as Patrick Ford and the other leaders of that body in America.
Sir Henry James soon after concluded his address, when there was a loud outburst of applause.
This closes the public proceedings of the Commission. The Commissioners will now proceed to a consideration of their report.


The London Correspondent of the Manchester Courier writes: - "It is stated, with an apparent degree of authority, that Sir James Hannen has placed his resignation as President of the Courts of Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty in the hands of the Lord Chancellor. Many people think that this means he is to have the vacant Lordship of Appeal. His successor in the office will, in all probability, be a member of the bar practising before him. If this be true, no one can be meant but Mr. Inderwick, who, since the retirement of Sir J.D. Deane and Dr. Spinks, has been acknowledged as the leader of the Probate Division.

Source: The Echo, Friday November 22, 1889, Page 3

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

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