§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
I wish to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, can give us any information with regard to a statement that has been made in the newspapers as to the attack which had been made in Dublin upon a very distinguished Judge, Mr. Justice Lawson?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I have received several private letters from eminent persons in Ireland, which I have read very carefully; but I find it extremely difficult to make out from them anything which I think it would be right to make public. All the information I have got is contained in a report, dated yesterday, from the Superintendent of the Detective Division in Dublin. I am almost unwilling to take up the time of the House by reading it. [Cries of "Read, read!"] Very well; if the House wishes it, I will read it—I have to report that at 5 o'clock yesterday evening the Right Hon. Mr. Justice Lawson left his house in Upper Fitzwilliam Street, accompanied by his son Henry, intending to walk to the King's Inns, in Henrietta Street, to dine with the Benchers. He was protected by Constables Lawlor and Brennan, of the B Division, and Pensioners M'Donnell and Driver.It has been discovered that the increased duties of the Dublin Police require the addition of some 25 trustworthy men, mostly military pensioners—The two first-named walked immediately behind the Judge, and the two latter about 30 paces behind him, on the other side of the way. When they had got about midway between Merrion Square and Clare Street, M'Donnell's attention was called to a man who, in passing, touched M'Donnell on the elbow in a very significant way, saying, 'It is all right,' or words to that effect. M'Donnell at once concluded that there was something suspicions about the man, and kept his eye on him. When they reached Leinster Street Driver and M'Donnell walked along Trinity College wall, and the man who had attracted their attention also walked on that side, immediately before them. Judge Lawson and his son, and the two constables of the B Division, walked on the opposite side as the Judge approached Kildare Street Club.The description which follows is what the officer who gives this report has gathered from the evidence of other persons; but it bears out the extremely 1317 courageous conduct of M'Donnell, and I think it shows that it was a very desperate attack—The revolver taken from him was loaded in six chambers, and was a good class weapon. Judge Lawson went into the Kildare Street Club, and subsequently went to the King's Inns and dined with the Benchers.I may say that the private letters I have got from persons who were in his company say his demeanour was, in the highest degree, quiet and gallant—At the College Street Police Station the man was recognized as a person who was convicted of highway robbery on a previous occasion, and sentenced to five years' penal servitude. Pie was discharged on licence on the 18th of December, 1874. He admitted his identity. He is a house carpenter, about 34 years of age, married, with four children. He was formerly in the employment of a respectable timber merchant in Thomas Street, and recently worked at the residence of Chief Baron Palles. On a previous occasion he made an attempt to shoot a policeman with a revolver. He was brought up this morning at the Southern Police Court, and remanded for a week on the evidence of M'Donnell and the constables.That is, practically, all the information I can give to the House; but it is satisfactory to know that the protection which has been provided for the Judge, who was liable to so much danger, has proved to be sufficient.