THE IRISH QUESTION.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,—When I wrote you on the abova subject I did not expect that my letters would pass without comment, but so fir neither "Irishwoman," "E. S. Mantz/' nor " Young Australian " has attempted to disprove any statement that I made. "E. S. Mantz" thinks I should write over my name, but I do not know that it would make your readers much wiser to see the names of such obscure individuals as he and I are. Since his letter appeared I have asked those whom I thought most likely to know, "Who is E. S. Mantz, North-eaßt Valley?" but one and all have replied: " Don't know him; never heard his name until a few days ago." I am neither an Orangeman nor the son of one, nor have I been, as far aB I know, connected in any way with the Orange institution. I have been told by those most nearly concerned that I waß born in Ireland. I have also heard that my ancestors for at least three generations resided there; so that I can justly claim to be what I sign myself—an " Irishman." According to "E. S. Mantz," his great knowledge of Ireland arises from the fact that he was stumping England for a few months with the Home Rule leaders. My knowledge is derived from a residence there of almost thirty years. Your readers can form their own opinion as to which should have the greater knowledge of both country and people. It is almost impossible for anyone to form a correct view on the eubjeot without having spent a considerable time in Ireland. Let"E. S. Mantz "go to Irelaud, not as a Home Ruler, but unprejudiced, travel North and South, and if he does not change his ideas o£ Irish affairswell, I will feel Btrongly inclined to change mine.
When I hear of the woes and wrongs of Ireland I am forcibly reminded of the plaintiff who was moved to tears by the pathetic way in which his lawyer stated his case. When asked what ho was crying for, replied : " Your Honor, I did not I had Buffered so much until I heard him say so "
I am aware that there was a time when the Irish were harshly treated, but those days are long gone by. My letters deal with facta of to-day. Are the laws in Ireland more liberal for Protestants than for Roman Catholics ?
I answer No. Why, then, are they not equally prosperous ? Take any city, town, or even district, walk through it, and anyone crn tell by the appearance of the place which class predominates, One part will show every sign of prosperity—the other, squalor and wretchedness. The Government cannot be to blame for this, as they are under one law. I have just said that there is no inequality in the law ; but I must qualify this statement by saying that Roman Catholics can do things which Protestants dare not do. For instance, Roman Catholics may be married by a priest at any hour of the day or night; Protestants can only be married between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 noon. We heir of the institutions that will be free under Home Rule. I don't know what institutions are not free there that are free in either England or Scotland. Under the ordinary law the Irish have as much liberty, and arc less heavily taxed, than their English and Scotch brethren j and, as I said before, the Crimes Act affects no one loyally disposed. The Protestants have a dread of Home Rule. Of them the late John Bright wrote just before his death :
Dear >ir, —Do not think our publio men are worse than who havo gone before. I hope they are bitter, notwithstanding the events passing before us, Ihe Protestants of Ireland are un*i,liug to bo subjected to tho Catholic majority, and fear tho consequences. Their fear should ho taken Into account. The loyal portion of Ireland I reckon at 2,000,000, and I cannot conneut to force them outside the control and guardianship of tho Imperial Parliament at the demand of, it may be, 3,000,000 ot the disloyal,—Yours very truly, John Bright.
"Young Australian" appears to ignore the Protestants altogether; he ought to remember that they are cne-third of the population, and that only about one out of every 500 has the slightest wish for an Irish Parliament.
Ho also sneers at the Protestant clergymen of all denominations because of their opposition to Home Rule; but their opinions are simply a reflex of that of the laity. It should also be known that many Roman Catholics are opposed to Home Rule, but they are forced to vote with the majority, or be ruthlessly boycotted—or worse. Sir, I could give you many instances of cowardly outrages which are never published here—such as running a pointed stick through a sheep, sawing off the ear of a calf, dragging a man out of his bed at midnight, blindfolding and riddling him with Bhot, until he promises to give up a certain farm —but space will not permit. Instances of theße kinds are not so numerous now, thanks to the firm rule of Mr A. J, Balfour; but the above have occurred within the last three years. The following appeared in the 'Catholic Progress' (a Dublin organ) in 1882:
Tho woes of Itelard are all due to one single cause-the existence of Protestanism in Ireland. The remedy could only be found in tho removal of that which caused the evil which still continues. Why are the Ii i3h not content ? Because, bolng Irish and Catholic they are governed by a public opinion which is English and Protestant. Unless Ireland is governed as a Catholic nation, and full scope given to the development of the Catholic Church in Ireland by appropriating to the Catholic religion the fun 4 given to religion, a recurrence of such events as are now taking place cannot bo prevented. Would that every Protestant meetinghouse were swept from tho land, Then would Ireland recover herself, and outrages would be unknown, for there would be no admixture of misbelievers with her champions.
According to this no lawß will aatisfy short of those which will permit of the exclusion of the Protestants, and the majority of those who want Home Rule have that end in view. This appears to be the idea of " Irishwoman " when Bpeaking of the amount of tho rates paid by each party, for she says that under Home Rule Protestants and Roman Catholics would change places. "Irishwoman" thinks that the farms on the Olphert Estate—Bix and ahalf acres; annual rent, L2 Bs—must bo bog land. They are not; but, even if they were, the rent is extremely low when the forge and dwelling house are included, as in the case of Paddy O'Donnell. If four quarts of milk per week were sold they would more than pay the rent. Some of the land is bog, but this is necessary for fuel. Tho following letters from tho London • Standard ' on the moro recent evictions on another part of the estate speak for themselves : THE OLPHBRT ESTATE. Sir,—Almost before this appears in print, harrowing accounts will probably be read In the 'Freeman's Journal' and ' United Ireland ' of more ovictions on the Olphert estate. Now, I have just returned from a long visit to my father at Ballyconnell, Falcarrah, and the following facts may serve to show these evictions in their true light. I have known the tenants on tho townlands of Ballynees, Drumnatiny, and the Forth from childhood, and have always associated them in my mind as forming a part of my home and surrounding*. I went to see some of these people, and begged of them to pay their rent, and so avoid the necessity of eviction. Everywhere I was met with civility, and even with welcome. I saw no signs of poverty. Potatoes, it is true, were scarce, but meat is cheap, and bread, milk, and eggs were not wanting. In one house I saw a fowl being cooked for the next meal. No complaints were made to me about the rents being too high, or tho landlord too hard; on the contrary, the tenants willingly confessed that my father had always been kind, and some inquired "how he was bearing his own trouble these times?" One man-Ned Ferry, who lives at the " Forth," whom I know to be really well off—oweß two years' rent, which, with the oosts, amounts to about Lll, I asked him how he could bring himsolf to leave his old home. He replied: "Oh, I must: there would be no living here if I paid my rent; but Mr Olphert knew my money was always good." "Have you LIOO saved, Ned?" said I. "Aye, more than that," was his answer; and yet he : intends to go out because he has sworn to follow the example of the Ardsmore tenants, and it is quite likely we Bhall read next week in the Nationalist papers acoounts of poor Ned Ferry being turned out on the roadside! Some of the tenants came to see me by night, the only time at which they would dare to venture, do afraid
is eaoh of his neighbor. They told me they would give anything to have all settled and peaceful again, yet no one has sufficient courage to set the example of paying the rent first. And this reminds me that one evening after dark three men came to see my father, to ask a pecuniary favor, which was granted. On leaving they wished him " Good night," adding as they left: "We hope you'll have quiet times, sir, soon; it's not against you the people are." The plea of poverty is only an excuse, nnd I do not hetitate to say that the tenants in the townlands I have mentioned are, on the whole, quite aa well off as the laborers in many of our Burner* Betshire villages. Eoglish people who go over to Ireland for a few days "to see for themselves" never get behind the Bcenes; \hey cannot do so like those who have lived all their lives among the people, and understand their habits of life and way of looking at things.—l am, etc., Florence Kettlkwell. Uarptree Court, East Harptree, Bristol, April 9. Sir,—As you so kindly inserted my letter of the 10th, I venture to send you a few more facts that have to do with the Olphert evictions. I notice in your edition of the 11th Mr H. J. Wilson draws attention to the "deplorable condition "of three tenants. Why did not Mr Wilson come and aee my father when he was in his neighborhood ? I might then have had an opportunity of taking him "behind the scenes." And did he go and see the Rev. James M'Fadden, of Ulena (nothing to do with the M'Fadden of Gweedore), who for more than twenty years has been priest and rector of the parish, and must know the condition of his people better than his curates? These tenants have, until tho Plan of Campaign was started, been supported directly, or indirectly, by ihe estate, Take the case of Paddy Doogan. He had tho care of the cattle for years, and a good thing he must have made out of it, as he was able to devote a large sum of money to obtaining the tenant-right to some land adjoining his own, One morning Paddy found he had important business elsewhere, and has never returned,
Take, again, the case of the carpenter. I personally asked him to come and do some work for me. He eaid he would "when he had time." I waited five weeks. He never came, nor is he Ikely to come, and the last time 1 saw that man working on the premises he was getting 3* 61 a day. Another man had for years—and I believe still has—the contracts for mending the roads. I do not think he would like his condition to bs considered "deplorable."
In the middle of this line of houses, now under eviction, are two owr.ed by Protestants. The land and houses appear to be in keeping with those of their neighbors. I went into one of these. The wlfo and daughters were hard at work; signs of industry and thtift everywhere. I was shown potato pits in the garden; pig", cows, and fowls about the place. The owner and his son were busy ploughing. No want here, becauso the people wore willing to work, and took a pride in their farm. Then what about the few, and the very few, who havo remained ttaunch to their "old maiter?" They live in the same townlandc, side by side with those to be evicted. No cry of distress from them; they come daily to their work, and, although boycotted by their neighbors, are able to make both ends meet.—l am, etc, Florence Kettleweu.
Harptree Court, Fast Harptree, April 13,
Would your correspondents, and especially " Irishwoman," note the fourth paragraph in the last letter, which shows that the tenants can live and be comfortable if they are disposed. Let the Roman Catholics attend to their work, no matter what it may be, instead of running after every paid agitator that preaches sedition, and they will soon better their condition, and leave the Protestants a smaller proportion of the rates to pay.—l am, etc., Irishman. Dunediu, June 5.
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THE IRISH QUESTION., Evening Star, Issue 7926, 6 June 1889
THE IRISH QUESTION. Evening Star, Issue 7926, 6 June 1889
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