asked the Chief Secretary if his attention has been called to the meeting of the Swinford branch of the United Irish League at which the people were urged to boycott a Mr. O'Hara, who was described as a despicable landgrabber; whether Mr. T. Morrin, who presided at this meeting, has since been made a justice of the peace; whether his conduct has been brought to the notice of the Lord Chancellor; and whether any action will be taken in the matter?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I understand the question to refer to a resolution alleged to 1512 have been adopted at a meeting of the Swinford branch of the United Irish League held on 6th June, 1909. The Lord Chancellor has already made inquiries into the matter, it having been represented to him that such a resolution was passed; and he is informed that no such resolution was adopted, and that any report to that effect is without foundation. Mr. T. Morrin was appointed a magistrate in January last.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that copies of the alleged resolution have appeared in the public Press?
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that on 3rd January, 1910, a party of women drove cattle on to a farm, the property of Mr. O'Hara, at Cloonaghboy, near Swinford, and that on their prosecution the case was dismissed; whether he is aware that out of the four magistrates who tried the case two were members of the United Irish League, and that the resident magistrate dissented from the decision of his colleagues; and what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I understand that summonses for trespass were issued against three women by Mr. O'Hara, which came on for hearing on 18th March, 1910. A legal question arose as to whether Mr. O'Hara, being a grazing tenant under an eleven months letting, could maintain proceedings for trespass, and the hearing was accordingly adjourned at the instance of Mr. Henn, R.M., the presiding magistrate. The adjourned hearing took place on 6th June, 1910, before Colonel Johnston, R.M., and Messrs. Henry, Keane and M'Dermott, when the charges were dismissed, the magistrates, with the exception of Colonel Johnston, being apparently of opinion that Mr. O'Hara was not the owner of the land within the meaning of the Act. The Bench acceded to an application to state a case for the High Court on the question of law. I Have no information as to whether any of the magistrates are members of the United Irish League.