THE IRISH QUESTION.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, The seriousness of the Bubject demands other treatment than personal remarks. I therefore confine myself to remarks bearing on the question at issue. It is an undisputed fact that there are two classes of people in Ireland—one as a rule prosperous, the other the reverse. It is also a fact that cities and towns, in proportion as Protestants or Roman Catholics predominate, go ahead or fall back. "E. S. Mantz " admits this, but gives as the reason —packed juries and the suppression of the freedom of speech. How can these affect the prosperity of either ? A man who looks after bis business need not appear before a jury. Seditious speech, such as advocating boycotting and the Plan of Campaign, is prohibited. I am not an apologist for Orangeism, but I never heard of any such doctrine emanating from an Orange lodge. On May 24, 1862, Mr Gladstone said : " What is boycotting ? In the first place, it is combined intimidation. In the second place, it is combined intimidation made use of for the purpose of destroying the private liberty of choice by fear of ruin and starvation. In the third place, that being what boycotting is in itself, we must look to this: that the creed of boycotting, like every other creed, requires a sanction, and the sanction of boycotting—that which stands in the rear of boycotting, and by which alone in the long run boycotting can be made thoroughly effective—is the murder which is not to be denounced." Such was Mr Gladstone's opinion of boycotting in 1882. In Ireland, as in England, Scotland, and the colonies, the Crown reserves to itself the right of challenging anyone on the jury list whom they think unlikely to give an impartial verdict. The prisoners also can challenge a limited number. Had the Crown not this prerogative it would often be impossible to get a conviction on the clearest evidence. Every obstacle is placed in the way to prevent the arrest of a known murderer, should the victim be a landlord, bailiff, or policeman. There was widespread sympathy for Joe Brady, and green flags, bordered with crape, were hoisted on the morning he was hanged. "E. S. Mantz" speaks of the largo number of Protestant householders there are in Ireland. I stated before that thero are under 5,000, inclusive of women and children. If he says lam wrong, let him givo his figures and authority. A document was sent to Monsignor Persico, the Papal Delegate to Ireland, signed by Irish Roman Catholics exclusively. The signatures comprised 14 peers, 4 Privy
Councillors, 10 honorables, 2 lord-lieutenants of counties, 19 baronets, 54 deputy-lieu-tenants, 297 magistrates, and a large number of the military and learned professions. This document stated that Roman Catholics have now absolute religious freedom, and that the future destinies of the church depend on the standard of faith and morals maintained in Ireland.
We are constantly hearing of the poverty of the Irish peasantry, and the sympathy of the priests with them. About two years ago a priestdied atMilford(County Donegal), leaving by will L 27.700. It is strange that a priest could amass such a Bum in a poor district! L 27.700 was left to the church, and the balance to the immediate connections (brother and sister) of the deceased. The relations contested the validity of the will. Dr O'Donnell, the bishop of the diocese, in cross-examination, was asked if the people of the district were not poor ? He said they were like the generality of peasants. He was asked if the L 27.700 would not be of material benefit to them ? He replied that he considered they would be better without it. The rhurch got the money. Education in Ireland is not compulsory, as I believe it should be; but it is solely the fault of the parents or guardians when the children are uneducated. There are firstclass schools, and the charge is—or was, when 1 was at school—nominal; but those unable to pay were admitted free. The lessons embrace Euclid, drawing, and physical science. In the two latter subjects the Scionce and Art Department of South Kensington give valuable prizes to all who gain a certain number of marks. These examinations are held throughout the country ia May. A set of books for a sixth class scholar does not cost more than 3s 6d, and these may do for a generation, and in any national school. For years the only outlay need be for copy books or drawing paper. To pander to the Roman Catholics, the Government do not allow history to be taught lest they might jhear something discreditable to their religion. The Crimes Act, which troubles "E. S. Mantz"somuch, has been of great service to the country. It has reduced the cases of boycotting from 4,800 in 1887 to 296 in 1889. During this time the country has shown unmistakable signs of returning prosperity, interfered with so much by the Home Rule agitation. The total value of stock in 1886 was L 26.476.649; in 1889, L 31,512,598, an increase of L 5,035,249. This includes securities of all kinds.
I noticed in your cablegrams about three weeks ago that the company working the boycotted farms in County Cork had declared a dividend of 31 per cent. According to the agitators these farniß were rented so high as to make living impossible; yet those employed to work them are paid, and there is the dividend, as above, in addition. Would "E. S. Mute" explain this?
Your correspondents make capital out of the fact that the population has lessened by one-half since the Union. They do not state that the great factor in causing the exodus was the failure of the potato crop in 1847. Perhaps the Government was responsible for this.
Sir, in conclusion allow me to repeat that my knowledge of Ireland is derived from a residence there of twenty-nine years. *' E. S. Mantz" has made himself intimate with Irish affairs by living in London. I have practical experience ; he has theoretical. —I am, etc., Irishman. Dunedin, July 12.
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THE IRISH QUESTION., Evening Star, Issue 7964, 20 July 1889, Supplement
THE IRISH QUESTION. Evening Star, Issue 7964, 20 July 1889, Supplement
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