§ MR. KENNY
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been called to a report of a case tried before a Dublin Special Jury on February 13th last, in which Mr. Patrick Fenlon, a tenant farmer of county Carlow, brought an action against one John M'Clintock Bunbury for assault and battery; if it is a fact that Mr. Bunbury and others attempted to ride over the lands of Patrick Fenlon, although a notice was served on the Master of the Carlow Hounds prohibiting hunting over said lands; if Fenlon warned off the trespassers, but Mr. Bunbury refused to turn aside, and struck Mr. Fenlon on the head with a whip; if Mr. Beauchamp Bagenal, who was examined as a witness for the defence, gave in evidence that he was a justice of the peace for Carlow county, and that he would have acted as Mr. Bunbury did under similar circumstances; if it is a fact that the jury found for the plaintiff, with damages; if, since then, one W. B. Pearse, J.P., who was also a party to the assault on Mr. Fenlon, has tendered in damages a sum equal in amount to that recovered in the action; and, if the facts are as stated, and if the three persons mentioned are justices of the peace for Carlow county, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland intends removing them from the list of magistrates?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
My attention has been drawn to this case, which has also been under the consideration of the Lord Chancellor, and I have received a Report from his Lordship's Secretary, from which it appears that the facts are not correctly set forth in this Question, 396 but are as follows:—A number of farmers of the county of Carlow had served a notice on the Master of the Hounds prohibiting hunting over their lands; but many of the persons whose names were attached to that notice informed the Master that they had signed under pressure and were in favour of the hunt being carried on as usual, and accordingly hunting was carried on until the day of the occurrence which became the subject of the action referred to. On that day a number of persons who were following the hunt crossed Fenlon's land without objection from him, and even caused a gap to be broken to allow a lady to pass. It was not until Mr. Bunbury came on the farm that Fenlon make any objection. He did not refuse to go when warned off. On the contrary, he said he would leave if Fenlon would show him the boundary of the farm, and that he would pay any damage caused by the trespass. The assault was occasioned by Fenlon catching Mr. Bunbury's horse by the bridle and forcing him back on his haunches. The Lord Chancellor has accepted Mr. Bunbury's assurance that he will in future use every means in his power to avoid going on the lands of those persons who object to his doing so, and he does not consider it necessary to take any further action in the matter. With regard to the other gentlemen named, the Lord Chancellor is not aware that anything transpired at the trial to warrant his withdrawing the Commission of the Peace from either of them. I gather that the Lord Chancellor's letter to Mr. Bunbury was more stiff than was mentioned in the letter of his Lordship's Secretary. I wish to say that people who follow the hounds ought to be careful not to go over farms on which a farmer has posted a legal notice against it. However, this matter does not rest with me, but with the Lord Chancellor.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
replied, that this was the first time the matter had been brought under the notice of the Lord Chancellor, and his Lordship had written that he was inquiring into the case.
§ MR. O'KELLY
Can the right hon. Gentleman state what would have happened to Mr. Fenlon if he had attacked Mr. Bunbury under similar circumstances?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some young men who were convicted of preventing a hunt at Loughrea, county Galway, were sentenced to seven years' penal servitude?
§ MR. HARRINGTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman state whether he considers that Mr. Bunbury's own assurance is sufficient, considering the high securities required from others for keeping the peace?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
said, he hoped the hon. Member for Mallow (Mr. O'Brien) would put his Question formally, and he would make inquiries.