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THE PARNELL COMMISSION.

London, July 10. After the sensational closing of the Parnell Commission last Friday, there was much speculation as to the course the Irish leaders would take. It will be remembered that the point in dispute was the production of the books of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union. This body made no objection, provided the books were not laid open to political opponents, the Committee fearing that the disclosure of names might lead to the boycotting of some of the supporters of the Union. This did not satisfy the defendants, who wished to have complete access to the books, but the Court declined to order any public production of the books, maintaining that whether the Union bad assisted or not in getting up the evidence, that did not affect the issues into which the Court had to inquire. Immediately the Court assembled on Tuesday Sir Charles Russell, who had neither books, notes, nor brief before him, rose and informed the Court that Mr Parnell had repeated the instructions given to himself and Mr Asquith on Friday, that they should no longer represent him at the inquiry, and they would accordingly retire. The President remarked in clear, calm tones, that the Court would regret not receiving the assistance of counsel. Of course, if Mr Parnell withdrew his retainer there was nothing left for his counsel but to retire. Mr Parnell was still under the jurisdiction of the Court. Mr Parnell then rose and made a personal application, complaining of being kept about the Court, not being able in consequence to attend to his public duties, He desired to have a day fixed for the further cross-exami-nation with regard to his accounts. The Attorney-General said he was willing to do anything he could to oblige Mr Parnell, and he ultimately fixed Tuesday next. Mr Reid, Q.C., then rose and informed the Court that he had to say ditto to Sir Charles Russell and retire from the case. The name of one of his clients, Mr J. J. O’Kelly, he said, had been particularly mentioned, and he desired to say that Mr O’Kelly was in Court, ready to answer any questions. Mr Lockwood made a similar statement, intimating his intention to withdraw in consequence of his client’s instructions. He mentioned that Mr Harris and others were present ready to answer questions, The President, in .slow and measured fashion, said “ The position of things is In no way altered, except that it leaves ns do longer the assistance of counsel. The persons represented by those counsel can now take precisely the steps they think they ought to take, and can attend as witnesses if they desire to do so. I have no observations to make upon that.” Sir Charles Russell then rose and left the Court, followed by the rest of the counsel who had represented the Parnellites. Mr Parnell also rose and left the Court with the greater number of his supporters who were present. ANOTHER SENSATIONAL INCIDENT.' Mr John O’Connor, M.P., is an obstinate man, and the President evidently grew mnch ruffled, for when the witness asserted that Poff and Barrett, who had been hanged for murder, were innocent men, and that the officials knew them to be innocent, bnt questioned further admitted that he did not ascertain on what grounds people said they were innocent, Sir James could eland it no longer. “Somebody tells you,” said he, “that these men are innocent, and on that you found your charge against the officials. So that’s your view of what is right ?” Witness; I was told so by everybody. Both men made dying declarations to the priest who heard their last confession, which is a matter of solemnity to a Roman Catholic. I do not know there is such a place as Australia, but everybody says so, and I believe it. The President: That is a most ridiculous observation to make. Witness: These meu made declarations to their priest the night before they lost their lives. President (emphatically): That would not prove that at Dublin Castle and Gaistieisland they knew these men were innocent. That was your charge. Witness: I know these officials and these police, and I know they are capable of anytiling that is mean, contemptible, and tyrannical. Mr Atkinson: Do those adjectives describe the hanging of innocent men ? Witness; I believe they are capable of it. Mr A.: Will you name the officials ? Witness: I will not. We have a reason in Ireland to entertain these opinions. ; President (to Mr A.): How many times are you going to ask this man to reiterate this shocking charge, which he makes without evidence ? Witness : It is no more shocking than deserved to those who ksow the police in Ireland. President (with emphasis) : I repeat that it is a shocking charge, and should not be repeated except on evidence. Mr Atkinson was proceeding to put further questions, when Mr Lockwood deprecated the .persistence with which his learned friend was pursuing the point, President: It subject? me to a moral torture to have to hear a man express such a view of what is right.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890903.2.4

Bibliographic details

THE PARNELL COMMISSION., Issue 8002, 3 September 1889

Word Count
854

THE PARNELL COMMISSION. Issue 8002, 3 September 1889

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