(From the National papers.)
THB " things of the past " proved on Sunday, April 8, that they aie also things of the present. Mr. Balfour's ghosts sprang up all along the line in Galway, Cork, and Glare, and looked emphatically more substantial than shadows. The gauntlet flung down by the Chief Secretary has been taken up with a hopeful and an enthusiastic alacrity that waa the only befitting response to the silly taunt that the league was dead and buried in the " suppressed " districts. Mr. Balfour will be good enough to put last Sunday's answer in his pipe And smoke it. Brave Loughrea has gallantly upheld its record for grit and determination by the splendid manner in which it faced Balfour's battalions. The people adopted no rtcte, but came out boldly and fearlessly to show their contempt for the proclamation of Dublin Castle. Opposite the entrance to the field where the meeting was to b« held were arranged the fusiliers and the hussars, together with the ninal posse of police. At two o'clock Mr. William O'Brien, M.P., accompanied by an English Member, Mr. Henry Wilson, and several priests, proceeded at the head of an immense multitude to the scene of action, where Mr. O'Brien announced to Mr. Longburne, the officer in charge, his intention to hold a meeting for perfectly constitutional purposes. "If I am myself assaulted or arrested," said the hon. gentleman, " I shall take care and guarantee that no further effort will be made to hold the meeting. . . . lam the malefactor here. I take the whole responsibility of the meeting ; and if I am doing anything wrong you can take me by violence and arrest me." To all these remonstrances the officer replied that he would have to carry out the proclamation. Mr. O'Brien thereupon entered the field, followed by hussars, police, and people, jumbled together in all the order of disorder. Mr. O'Brien immediately mounted the platform, and waa addressing the swaying multitude for some time when the police charged with their rifles, striking everyone they could reach, After a hard tussle, the assemblage dispersed, but soon afterwards followed Mr. O'Brien to the bishop's palace. Later on in the afternoon a meeting was held in the Temperance Hall, the doors of which were well barricaded, where the hou. gentleman was presented with an address from the Loughrea branch of the National League, after which he delivered a glowing speech, breathing defiance to Balfour and Olanricarde, and all their works and pomps, Colonel Persse, 8.M.,, was commander-in-chief of her Majesty's forces at Kanturk. Cavalry and infantry swarmed in tba town. Mr. T. M. Healy, M.P., and Mr. J. 0. Flynn, M.P., accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Byles, arrived in Kanturk in the morning. After having taken a drive in the suburbs, escorted by police and military, Meesri. Healy and FJynn addressed the people here and there along the route. At one particular point the Kilbrin Hurling Club was addressed by Mr. Fiynn, who said that it had taken 200 police and 200 soldiers to prove that the National League wa9 a corpse. Well, he added a corpse in that condition struck him as one that was very active. Mr. Healy subsequently spoke to the assemblage, and alluded in triumphant tones to the victory achieved theie that day. Mr. Byles, Rev. Mr. Ellis, and itev. Father O'Keeffe followed Mr. Healy. Despite the vigilance of the authorities, Kanturk held the proclaimed meeting, and treated the proclamation as Mr. Healy himself treated it, by kicking it from his presence.
Mr. Daniel Crilly and Mr. John Redmond, M.P.'s, succeeded in hoodwinking the authorities in Enniß. Instead of holding the contemplated meeting in that town, which, by the bye, was swarming with military and police, they enabled the people to assemble on the Kilrußh road by serviDg, so to speak, as decoys. The police, however, kere, as well as earlier in the day, used their batons rather freely, and it is said that several civilians were badly wounded. Messrs. Redmond and Ciilly on their way to Ennis were met by a large crowd of people. Mr. Crilly delivered a speech full of hope and verve, which was applauded to the echo. In the evening both hon. gentlemen were entertained at dinner, the company including a number of clergy and laity. Mr. Cox, M.P., came down to Scarifi to address his constituents. Nojnotice of the intended suppression of the meeting having appeared in the Gazette, it was anticipated it would not be interfered with. At almost the last moment, however— Saturday evening — the Queen's proclamation was posted on the dead walls of the town. When, at two o'clock, p.m., the police saw that there was a momentary pause in the march of the people to the platform, erected in another portion of the town, the servants of the law dashed down the sleep incline like so many impetuous warriors, fearing lest a meeting waß really being held in their absence. When the light brigade had reached the valley, Captain Keogh had an interview with Mr. Cox, in the course of which the gallant gentleman became quite oratorical. The practical result of the conversation, however, was that on the expression ol Captain Keogh's resolve to disperse by force any meeting that day in Scariff, Mr. Cox requested the assemblage to break up quietly— a request which was immediately acceded to. Subsequently, Mr. Cox, who was accompanied by Mr. Kilbride, M.P., was the recipient of an address from the Feakle brancn of the .National League. The proclaimed meeting at Macroom came off in the " wee small hours of the morning." Dr. Tanner, M.P., having burned a copy of the proclamation, protested Bgainst the injustice of a Member of Parliament not being freely allowed to address his constituents. Later on another meeting was held, which was also addressed by Dr. Tanner — the police stupidly coming in at the close. The Doctor and Inspector Hayes having subsequently happened to exchange a few hot words, •ive former was brutally caught by five policemen and dragged by force to the Victoria Hotel, Several charges were made on the crowd by the angry Royals, who had been, of course, foiled all day, and who were then only too eager to have their revenge. Mr. Jordan, M.P. for West Clare ; Mr. William Abraham, M.P. for Limerick ; and Bey. P. White, P.P., attended a meeting which
was held at Canada Cross, Milton -Malbay. Mr. Jordan was addressing his constituents when the police and the military came up, the former with drawn batons, and the latter with fixed bayonets. Bemovable Waring was particularly insolent on this occasion. In reply to a remonstrance from Mr. Abraham, this " gallant " officer of the Crown said : " I will hold no parley or conversation with you. You are violating the laws of the Queen 1" The people quietly dispersed, of course, but not without having secured an impot tant moral victory. Mr. Balfour may now take a back seat. With all his unblushing effrontery, it will be hard even for him to assert that the round of last Sunday's meetings is the phantasmagoria of the diseased minds of jounralists who spend their time in manufacturing bogus reports.
If by any extraordinary freak of mental blindness Mr Balfour is yet bugging to his bosom the delusion that the League branches in the " suppressed " districts are things of the past, he will have yet another opportunity of correcting his error. Another round of monster meetings is being organised for next Sunday week. On next Sunday a great popular demonstration, representing Wexford, Kilkenny, and Waterford, is to take place at the Cross of Irishtown, New Boss. If theiChief Secretary requires other proofs of national vitality, be will find them in the practical combination existing among the tenantry, and in their resolve to remain true to the oause. Mr. Balfour is now going through the crucial test to which one is put who is being convinced against his will. The operation is, and will be, a painful one ; but it is to be hoped that the patient will bear up bravely with it. These " things of the past " must, like so many other phantoms, hauot our Chief Secretary's midnight dreamß. Unlike ether " things of the past," however, it takes horse, foot, and artillery to deal with, or to disperse, them. The trial of Kirby and Cournane for the murder of Patrick Quirke, at Liscahane, on the Bth of last November, took place' at Wicklow recently, before Judge O'Brien and a special jury. The prosecution had no direct evidence to adduce against the accused ; and even the circumstantial evidence brought forward waß of the haziest and most doubtful character. Maurice Healy and his brother Philip were examined for the defence, and swore that they saw Cournane and Kirby on the morning of the murder gathering seaweed at Fenet strand, five miles away from the scene of the crime. This testimony was, furthermore, supported by other equally impartial and trustworthy witnesses. Despite this array of evidence, however, Mr. Justice O'Brien charged the jury in both cases in a fashion that cannot but reflect the utmost discredit on the ermine. His pronouncement partook far more of the flavour of a speech of a prosecuting counsel than of a representative and an executor of justice. His lordship even weut to far as to — indirectly, at least — queition the truth of the alibis of honourable witnesses. Both prisoners were found guilty by a jury whose Orange sympathies are notorious, and the judge sentenced them to death. Of course these Wicklow Orangemen are onljr too eager to punish any peasant from Kerry who falls into their hands— if the latter be suspected of having anything to |do with the national movement. They fancy that they can stamp out agrarian crime in Kerry by handing over a few Kerrymen, now and then, to the tender mercies of Beiry. Now, we entertain just bb much horror of crime as does tLe most rigid Grand Jury Bhadamantus throughout the land. One crime, however does not justify another ; for if Patrick Quirke be murdered at Liscahane that is no reason why two men who fall into the hands of a partisan judge and a bigotted jury, and against whom no serious evidence is brought forward, Bbould be sent to the gallows on the ground that such a sacrifice is necessary for the re-estabhsh-ment of law and order. That a prisoner should have the benefit of the doubt is an old, and a true rule of English jurisprudence — an axiom whicn is practically disregarded day after day by most of the judges on the Irish bench. The r^al murderer of poor Cournane is most probably a landgrabber, for Cournane was the guardian of hia grandchildren, and had charge of their farm> and by getting him out of the way it was thought that the land would be soon put into the market. In any case Judge O'Brien's conduct at Wicklow merits the reprobation of every just and honest Irishmen. Lord Salisbury, ia his speech at Carnarvon, on last Tuesday night, (April 10,) took occasion to devote a very large share of his attention to Ireland. His remarks on the subject were mostly a series of platitudes, one of which was that the one thing necessary for Ireland is prosperity. His lordship trotted out the old cut and dry complaints about the poverty of the country, its deplorable want of industries, and its unquiet and unsettled condition which prevented Englishmen from investing any capital in such a turbulent Bpot. The Premier, in referring to hia coercion measure, boasted that i contained no clauses against the liberty of the Press ! We wondert if the incarceration of editors and printers, in their capacity as such, carried out in accordance with the provisions of the so-called Crimes Act, is, or is not a flagrant violation of the liberty of the Press. His lordship is simply indulging in bunkum when he alludes to the beneficial results accruing from his nephew's pet policy. He must, moreover, know that he is merely ranting when me says that discontent will disappear so long as a salutary hopelessness has set in that the people of Ireland cannot exact any change in their political condition . " As soon as you have convinced them that Government is in earnest, and that Government will be steady, and that they cannot hope for any change in that state of things, or for any change in the political position of this country ; so soon as they believe that, they will give np their resistance to that which is an inevitable change." Lord Salisbury must be, evidently, deceiving himself if he fancies that such a result can ever be brought about. The faith of the Irish people in the necessity of a change in their political institutions is as strong and as deep-rooted as their hope in the realisation of their political aims. Every great reform they achieved was at first regarded by its opponents as impossible. Time and determination have transformed these impossibilities into possibilities and the possibilities into realities. Lord Salisbury's remarks on nationality and the analogies he draws between the Basques, the Flemings, and the Bretonß in France on ihe one hand, and the Irish ia the British Empire on. the other, are
on a par with the logic of a schoolboy, and may be dismissed from further notice. The Poor Law elections throughout the country furnish the best possible answer to the vain boast of Mr. Balfour that bis Ooercion Act is emancipating the people from the " tyranny " of the National League. Despite the property and proxy votes, the Nationalists nave won signal victories North, South, East, and West, strengthening •heir power and adding to their numbers in many of the Poor Law Boards. One of Mr. Balfour's ex-prisoners, Mr. Dan M'Cabe, the patriotic and indefatigable chairman of the Kanturk Poor Law Guardians, was, on the last occasion, unanimously re-elected to that post, in recognition of the valiant manner in which he has combatted the infamous Coercion Act. Like others, Queanstown rid itself of several of its Tory guardians. Kilkeel Union, in the very heart of the county Down, kas been rescued from the enemy. In very many of Ulster divisions the Nationalists have won majorities, and would aye the power were it not for the large number of eat qfltoios. The elections of officers are no less satisfactory. Ballymahon Union has deposed Colonial King-Harman, who, however, managed to get hold of a chair in Boyle. The three honorary posts in Mount Bellow, County Galway, hitherto in the hands of the landlord clique, have fallen into those of sturdy Nationalists. If all these victories prove that the Bpirit of nationality is dying out, and that Mr. Balfour's policy is triumphing, then, indeed, we confess not to know what logic or common sense signifies. Mr. Balfour himself, nevertheless, knows that instead of giving up the ghost the popular momement is increasing in volume as well as in influence ; and, with an ingenuity which does him credit, he is now trying to disguise his defeat by referring to it as a victory. The vast majority of the English people will soon see through this transparent trick of " our " accomplished Chief Secretary. If Mr. Balfour is susceptible of a sense of shame, we think whatever change of features represents blushing on his sallow and hardened countenance, should have taken place when he read of the prosecutions at Meelin towards the close of last week. It was little more than a week before that Mr. Balfour had been declaring that no meetings of branches were being held in proclaimed districts, and that the reports which were published in National newspapers were all bogus. Yet at Meelin we find Father Kennedy and fourteen other defendants charged with attending meetings of the League a few days before Mr. Balfour spoke. Not only were they accused by Mr. Btilfour's prosecutor of holding a meeting, but they were convicted of having done so by a couple of Mr. Balfour's agents, Messrs. Gardiner and Caddell. On conviction the accused were sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from three to nine months. In convicting Father Kennedy and his fellow-Leaguers of attending meetings of the League, the poor pair of B.M.s convicted their master, Mr. Balfour, of deliberate falsehood. When he spoke he must have had in his possession the reports declaring that the meetings were held ; nevertheless to carry a point with an English audience, he did not hesitate to assert the direct contrary of what he now avows by his agents he knew to be the fact. If there were no meetings held, then the whole Castle gang, from Balfour JHlingms, who directed the prosecution, down to Ronan the Ridiculous, who conducted it, would richly deserve a term of penal servitude far prosecuting men whom thty knew to be innocent.
At a Liberal meeting at Rossendale, Friday evening, April 20, a letter was read from Mr. Gladstone, apologising for his inability to attend, and saying : " The seventy dissidents lediby Lord Hartington have done more for the cause of coercion and misgovernment in Ireland than seventy Tories could or would have done. The upshoc is that the Government denies to Ireland even the gift of local government in the narrow sense until Irishmen abandon their national aepirations, which even Lord Carnarvon, a Tory, declared himself persuaded to satisfy to a reasonable extent. But in one important particular I desire to imitate Lord Hartington— namely, in abstaining from any act needlessly tending to infuse personal bitterness in an already painful struggle. I should feel myself open to reproach if I entered personally into a conflict with one whom I have known nni respected so l«ng. I therefore excuse myself." That the Irish Poor-law system is costly as well as degrading is clearly shown by a Parliamentary return which has been issued at the instance of Mr. Arthur O'Connor. It appears from this return that the total amount of Poor-law expenditure in Ireland for the half-year ending 25th of March, 1887, was £428,665. Some of our readers will be surprised to learn that of this sum no less than £133,886 was spent in the maintenance of the workhouse staffs, and in the cost of administration, while only £294,774 was spent in the support of the poor. The total expenditure under the Poor-law in Munster was, for the half-year, £155,011, representing lOfd in the pound of the valuation. The total expenditure for Leinster was £151,838 representing 6jd in the pound. The expenditure in Connaught was £46.071, representing 8d in the pound; and the expenditure in Ulster was 75,745, or 4sd in the pound. Mr. O'Brien in an interview, Tuesday, April 17, said that the arreat of himself and Mr. Dillon simply proved that Balfout was compelled to recommence the work he begun in September. Coercion always had been, and will be, a work of weariness aud failure. He was glad to say that hia health was never better ; but while in prison he would, owing to Mr. Balfour's calumnious insinuations on a former occasion, refuse to make any communication in regard to his health to anybody. He hoped his countrymen also would avoid the subject.
In the House of Commons, Tuesday, April 24, Mr. Justin McCarthy moved that the House adjourn on urgency in order to call attention to the departure from the usual practice in the Irish county courts by increasing sentences on appeal. Mr. McCarthy argued that the whole practice was opposed to all previous experience. If it was that in future appeals should be regarded as a game of ;*k>uble or quits," let the House of Commons and the people say to. He asked the House to signify its objection to this now principle of appeal, which closed the gates of mercy and opened the gates of wanton and despotic action. Mr. Shaw-Lefevre said that not a single case of an increase in sentence had occurred
in England.— Sir. William Vernon-Harcourt laid they were unused powers within the law. They were rutty weapon* of brutal tyranny. The employment of brutal and ferocious powers, whether within the law or not. against the people wu uncoustitational.— Mr. Balfour said that the previous speaker more than insinuated that the judges had derived inspiration from Dublin Castle. (Loud Parnellite shouts of " Hear ! Hear !") It was a foul 1 iln^". 0 / 1 ' Oh '") upoQ an body of men who completely fulfilled their duties. The motion was defeated— 2ll to 185. Mr. Gladstone followed Mr. Balfour. He asked it they were prepared, while boasting of their intention to treat the Irish on a footing of equality, to introduce this wholly new feature into Ireland? He said further that it was a trick of the meanest kind, the disoredit for which he would not divide between the Government and the authorlties in Ireland, for he did not know how to divide it. (Opposition cheers aad Conservative shouts of " Oh, oh I") He believed by this discussloa that Mr. McCarthy had itruck the death blow at this probably legal but outrageous practice, which had been pursued in delance of the principle of policy and precedent— a practice whioh was totally impossible in England and Sootland, but was thought good enough for Ireland as long as the people of England were disposed to tolerate it. i~ * , -b Mr. John Morley, addressing a meeting at Boasendala said that Rossendale was more responsible that an/ other said constituency for the harsh application of a harsh law in Ireland. Its opponents said the Liberal party is dead, but its ghost seemed very restless. It suited Mr. Chambtrlain to sail under a new flag, bu; he (Morley) failed to see why the old Liberal ship should be broken up for firewood. The fact was that all the talk about the breaking up of the party was moonshine, and their opponents knew it. The Local Government Bill, he said, had caused a deep divergency in the so-called Unionist conspiracy. Henceforth the Liberals may be expected to vigorously oppose all the proposals of the Government during the present Parliamentary session, contemplating anything with respect to the government of Ireland, or any home legislation raising the question of English preference to the Hmerald Isle in the matter of local supremacy. *v, ndav ' 8 (April 20) meeting of the National Liberal Club wu the beginning of a deliberate movement to spur Gladstone and the other lenders of the Home Rule Liberal party to an uncompromii. ing fight against the progress of the Local Government Bill, and to inspire the rank and file with ardour to fight out the Budget section by section. Apa sine action towards the Government by no means suits the Irish, and is quite as distasteful to the Radicals, this feeling being intensified by the growing certainty that the Local Government Bill was intended to deceive the Home Rulers and propitiate the newly. enfranchised English electors. The revolt iv the Gladstone party spoken of has thus far had the effect of stimulating the venerable leader to greater seal. Message* were conveyed to Mr. Gladstone conveying gentle hints and mild appeals. To these he paid no heed. Apathy had settled down upon him as it did in 1874, after his great defeat. Once more his thought* turned towards theology. Therefore they tried to drag their leader down from the clouds, and to make him understand that Smith is the man he should be after instead of confusing his mind with speculations on the fall of man. The Parnellites took no part in this grand remonstrance. In no way do they bring pressure upon Mr. Gladstone. Their respect for his opinions and anxiety to spare him inconvenience are remarkable. The English Radicals are not so considerate. They felt that the time had come to push the leader on. Mr. Gladstone received their message meekly, and instead of resigning he is once more buckling on his armour. Five more LiberalUnionists have undoubtedly gone back to the old man, and it is believed that six others have managed to scramble to the top of the fence, preparatory to dropping down into the true fold. That beinr so, Gladstonians do not talk quite so much of making up their differences with Hartington 's followers. Once more they are hopeful of winning back a sufficient number of wanderers to jeopardize the position of the Government. ■
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