Abbildungen der Seite


tainly bear in mind when they proceed that the right hon. Gentleman had now to take this matter into their considera- made himself master of it, and would tion. But my right hon. Friend has be able to answer his Question. The stated no more than the truth when he subject was one of great importance to says

that we should run a risk of doing the administration of justice in Ireland, mischief instead of good if we were to especially in the province of Ulster, place the adoption of the principle of in- where he was sorry to say strong party discriminate open competition before and religious feelings prevailed. At the that which is an indispensable prelimi- last Assizes for Monaghan there were nary-namely, a thorough re-organiza- several trials arising out of the disturbtion of the Civil Service, with a view to ances which took place on the 13th of a division being made between the July. Among these trials there were merely mechanical and the intellectual ) those of an Orangeman named Baird, work. And inasmuch as the Government his son, and another party, who were do not wish to subsist upon promises charged with the murder of a to the House, but rather upon labour in named Hughes, who was a Roman Caa practical form, we cannot undertake tholic. Indictments were also found to concur in any votes that would for against a large number of Roman Caour part end in promises only. We trust tholics and against seventeen or eighteen the House will give us a reasonable Protestants, for riots and assaults arising time to see whether we are or are not out of the same transactions that led to disposed to act upon the principle we the murder; and there were also inforhave previously announced. It is fortu- mations taken against a number of

pernate that the Motion of the hon. Mem- sons for violating the Party Processions ber is not a distinct Motion, but an Act, but these were not brought to trial. Amendment to the Motion that you, Sir, Also, at the same Assizes, a man named do leave the Chair. We shall, there- M.Kenna, a Roman Catholic, was tried fore, without giving any opinion adverse for the murder, in November last, of one to the terms of the hon. Member's Mo- Clark, a Protestant; but this occurred tion, although we regard it as being too in a hotel, and not during a riot. Now, wide, vote that the House resolve itself he had to inform the House that, in the into Committee of Supply in order that year 1866, also at these Assizes of Monawe may take the Vote for the Miscel-ghan, an Orangeman named Gray, who laneous Services, which the public in- bore rather a notorious character in terest requires.

Ulster, was tried for the murder of a Question put, “That the words pro

Catholic named Shevlin, who was shot posed to be left out stand part of the at the election of 1865, and four witQuestion."

nesses swore that it was Gray who fired

the fatal shot. But he was acquitted. The House divided :-Ayes 281; Noes He was defended by an able and learned 30 : Majority 251.

Gentleman, who was then an eminent

Member of this House — the present IRELAND-JURY PANEL, MONAGHAN Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench in

ASSIZES.-OBSERVATIONS. Ireland. On Gray's trial not one of the MR. DOWNING said, he rose to call twelve jurymen was a Roman Catholic. the attention of the House to the pro- A Mr. Crawford was foreman of the jury. ceedings in the criminal trials of “The Some strong articles were written on Queen against Baird,” “The Queen Gray's acquittal in the English journals, against M‘Kenna,” and “The Queen and the subject was brought under disagainst Sheridan and Others," in the cussion in that House, the present Atcourse of which, on a challenge to the torney General for Ireland declaring array, the jury panel was quashed, on that Shevlin's life was wantonly taken the ground, among others, that the said without provocation, and that his death panel had been partially and improperly was as clear a murder as ever was comarrayed by the sheriff of said county'; mitted. The panel from which the jury and to ask questions in reference thereto was taken by which Gray was acquitted of the Attorney General for Ireland. consisted of 300, a larger number than He had already postponed this matter was ever before known in Monaghan. at the request of the Attorney General But among them there were only sixtyfor Ireland, who wished to be further seven Roman Catholics.

The population informed on the subject, and he hoped of Monaghan consisted of 90,000 Roman Catholics, and 30,000 of all other deno- | tholics who were tried before Mr. Justice minations, or three Roman Catholics to Lawson were convicted of an assault, one Protestant. The panel was four not of a riot. One of them was senProtestants to one Roman Catholic. The tenced to two years' imprisonment with manipulation of that jury, and of the hard labour. Two others were sentenced jury which tried the case in the last to eighteen months' imprisonment, and Assizes, was so self-evident, that he the four women were sentenced to twelve thought the House would agree with months' imprisonment with hard lahim that the jury system in Ireland re- bour. In the other Court two persons quired amendment. Out of the first were tried for the murder of Hughes, forty-eight names on the panel that tried and they were acquitted. There were Gray, who was an Orangeman, only two twelve Orangemen and not a single were Roman Catholics. Out of the first Roman Catholic on that jury. On sixty-nine names only three were Roman that trial a policeman named MacCatholics; but then to show the libe- donald stated that he did not try to break rality of the sheriff

, in the next forty- into the house, because he might have eight names there were sixteen Roman been shot himself, but he went to the back Catholics. It was, of course, intended, of Baird's house and asked them to stop and was sure to be the case, that the the firing. He did not go into the jury who tried Gray were taken from the house to see who was firing, for soon first forty-eight names. The sheriff of this after the man was shot the firing ceased. year took a most active part in the elec- At the opening of the Assizes the Judge tion at which Shevlin lost his life, though, charged the grand jury, and stated, that in 1838, he had been dismissed from the he could not understand how, in a promagistracy on account of partiality. At claimed district, men carried arms who the trial a person of the name of Mitchell had no licenses, and that the adminiswas sub-sheriff. Now it was worth |tration of justice in that way was destating that up to 1862 or 1863 Orange- fective. M-Kenna was put on his trial ism was not known in Monaghan, and the next day. He was defended by two the people lived together on the best of very able barristers. Mr. Butt put in terms; but at that period the Rev. Dr. a challenge to the array on five issues. Bayley was appointed to the rectory of Four of them were traversed by the Monaghan, and an Orange lodge was Crown. One was admitted—that the subestablished, of which he believed Dr. sheriff was an Orangeman. The issue Bayley was the chaplain. On the 1st of that went to the jury was this–Did the July last year an Orange flag was hoisted sheriff, in contravention of his duty, to on the steeple of the church—which he which he was sworn, act as a partizan ? (Mr. Downing) thought was a desecra- The jury found that he did, and the contion of the House of God—and this flag sequence was that the panel was quashed. remained flying till the 12th. The 12th That was the conduct of the sheriff of was a Sunday, but on the 13th, which Monaghan, and he would state to the was a fair day, a band of Orangemen House the consequences arising from marched into the town with drums and that finding. In charging the jury the banners, and it was quite clear that a Judge said that it was no matter whecollision was inevitable. A collision did ther the sheriff or sub-sheriff was an take place. The Orangemen entered Orangeman, for that was no disqualifithe Orange Hall and Baird's house, cation. In point of law that might be where they had arms, and commenced correct, but he recollected many magisfiring on the crowd, and Hughes, an trates having been removed from the innocent man who was standing in the Commission of the Peace because they street, was shot. After that an as- had declared themselves Repealers. sault was made by some of the Roman When Mr. Roche, the father of Lord Catholic party on a man named Wilson. Fermoy, was appointed sheriff of Cork, For that assault seven persons were in- an objection was raised in the Dublin dicted, and among them four women. Mail that he was a Repealer, in conseA large number of Catholics were in- quence of which the Lord Lieutenant dicted for riot, and seventeen Orangemen wrote to that gentleman inquiring if he were indicted, and were to be tried at was. Mr. Roche, as every high-minded the same Assizes, at which Judges Lawson man, declined giving a reply to the and Morris presided, for whom he en- question, although he was no Repealer, tertained personal esteem. The seven Ca- I and the consequence was that he was not appointed to the office. He did not questions he would ask the Attorney think the Government ought to allow an General for Ireland was, whether that Orangeman to fill the high and import- sheriff still retained his office; and, if ant office of sheriff, because to be an so, whether it was the intention of the Orangeman was to be a partizan. On Lord Lieutenant to supersede him. It the trial of M‘Kenna's case the panel was not surprising when such proceedconsisted of 250 persons. In the jurors' ings took place that a want of confidence book, there were 1,200 names in round was felt in the administration of the numbers, 400 of them being Roman law in Ireland, and that men occasionally Catholics, showing a proportion of two took the law into their own hands. At Protestants to one Catholic. Out of the late trials, on the 5th of March, the first seventy names on the panel Mr. Riley, who defended the prisoners, there were only seven Catholics, and of wrote to the high sheriff, asking him these three were ineligible; so that there to ensure a fair proportion of the priwere only four Catholics left. Such was soners' co-religionists on the panel. The the state of the panel when import- reply of the high sheriff was that he ant cases involving party and religious intended making no alteration in the considerations were about to be tried. panel, except by adding some fifty jurors Although there were sixty magistrates to the long panel, thus making it 250 in the county of Monaghan, not one of —of those forty-nine were Protestants. them was put on the panel until a de- A similar letter was written by Mr. mand was made by the attorney for the Riley to the sub-sheriff, who added fifty prisoners, and then one was placed on names to the panel, but forty-nine of the panel. He was aware that the sheriff them were Protestants, and only one did not take an active part in framing was a Catholic, thus aggravating the the panel, but he was responsible to the case to a considerable extent. Mr. Riley Crown and was sworn to act fairly be- then wrote to the Lord Lieutenant, who tween party and party. In 1864 Mr. replied that it was a matter in which he Riley, who was a Catholic, had the ar- could not interfere. The result was that rangement of the panel, and he returned the trial proceeded, with the conse200 names, forty-eight of them being quences which he had described. The case Catholics, and 152 Protestants. In 1865, reminded one of the declaration of Lord Mr. Mitchell, the sub-sheriff at the last Denman—a name that will be ever reAssizes, admitted that he took the panel vered, not so much from his professional of 1864, and altered it, for he appointed knowledge, great as it was, as for his 200, of whom forty-one were Catholics and high sense of justice and unbending in159 Protestants. But it was not so dependence-in relation to the O'Connell much the small proportion of Catholics trial. He feared that, to use his words, as the position assigned to them on the trial by jury in Monaghan had been list, which made it almost impossible for nothing but a mockery, a delusion, them to serve on the jury; for theprisoner and a snare. The jurors' book was could only challengetwenty peremptorily, made out and returned by parochial conand in the first sixty-seven names, there stables who were appointed by grand were only three Catholics. In 1867, the juries. In the county of Cork, out of same principle was carried out. When thirty collectors, not one was a Roman M.Kenna was placed in the dock the Catholic. Several hon. Members had finding to which he (Mr. Downing) had on former occasions attempted to induce referred took place. On the next day, Parliament to alter the present mode of when he was again placed in the dock, selecting juries in Ireland, and he wished Mr. Justice Morris stated that the panel to ask the Attorney General whether he had been quashed. That panel was ad- intended to bring in a Bill for this purmitted to be one affecting every case, pose? The other question he had to ask and the consequence was that 100 Ca- was, whether the jury panel having been tholics and thirteen Protestants were set quashed for partiality, it was intended at liberty on entering into their own re- by the Secretary for Ireland to recomcognizances, and yet the jury taken from mend a free pardon to the seven persons that panel convicted the seven Catholics who were convicted before Mr. Justice who were now undergoing their sen- Lawson and sentenced to many months' tences. That was all owing to the con- imprisonment? He should be glad to duct of the sheriff. And one of the know, moreover, whether the Attorney


General would so alter the present sys- | The hon. Member (Mr. Downing) gave tem as that jurymen should be selected notice of his intention to ask certain in criminal as well as in civil cases by Questions as to what occurred upon a ballot? The sub-sheriff for Monaghan trial at which he (the Attorney General admitted that he had been an Orange- for Ireland) was not present, and he man for many years, and that he knew had accordingly asked that the matter a great many Orangemen. He stated, should be postponed in order to enable however, that he could not tell how him to become acquainted with what many Orangemen were on the panel- had occurred at Monaghan. In Ireland, whether there were as few as ten or as where confidence in the administration many as 100. The high sheriff on his of the law was everything, it was most part denied that he was an Orangeman, important that the administration of but admitted that he did subscribe a trial by jury should be above suspicion. few shillings to give the Orangemen It appeared that two men, Baird and something to drink-a very unfortunate M‘Kenna, were to be tried at the last thing for a high sheriff to do. He held Assizes, and if the charges against them in his hand a document under the hand were true the lives of both were in of the clerk at petty sessions certifying jeopardy. Baird was charged with against twelve Orangemen, but no step shooting a man named Hughes in the whatever had been taken to bring them street, by firing from a window, and to trial. The people of Ireland would M-Kenna was charged with shooting watch with great anxiety the answer of a man in a house. Both cases arose the hon. and learned Gentleman to the out of circumstances in reference to appeal now made to him, and he hoped which the political and religious pasthat answer would be such as to give sions of the people were strongly exsatisfaction.

cited. Baird was acquitted, and having VISCOUNT CRICHTON said, it was regard to various circumstances which only justice to the Rev. Mr. Bayley to the jury were bound to weigh, it was state that he had been curate for ten impossible to find fault with the verdict. years in the parish next his own, and M'Kenna was then put upon his trial, that during that time no Orange flags and the array was challenged on his had ever floated from his church. Mr. behalf. It was the greatest misfortune Bayley, on the contrary, had always which could befal the administration of discouraged any displays of this kind, the law that religious considerations and had incurred the displeasure of some should enter into the selection of juries of his parishioners in consequence. - but the charge against the sheriff

COLONEL STUART KNOX said, this was that he had designedly inserted the was not a question of putting people on names of Protestants upon the panel, the jury panel for their religion, but for intending to prejudice the trial of their fitness. He protested against any M‘Kenna - and the counsel for the comparison between the Orangemen and Crown could take no other course but to the Repealers of thirty or forty years consent to try that issue. The mode of ago. The latter were rebels, but the appointing triers was peculiar, and perOrangemen were loyal men, who had haps not over satisfactory, but it had combined, and would combine, together been transmitted from very ancient to support the Queen and the Constitu- times. The two first persons who tion under which they lived. The sub- answered to their names were sworn, sheriff said he did not know how many and in this case it was certainly a Orangemen were on the panel, and that remarkable circumstance that the perwas the best proof of his impartiality. sons appointed to try such a serious Orangemen, being loyal men, had as issue were both Roman Catholics. They much right to be upon the jury panel as were, however, as he understood, respectany other persons.

able men, and great weight must be THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR attached in law to their finding, which IRELAND (Mr. SULLIVAN) said, that was adverse to the sheriff. It appeared the matter to which his attention had that there were 1,215 names upon the been called was one of the gravest im- jurors' book, of which, forming the best portance. It was only right to state judgment that his information enabled that he was not responsible for the delay him to do, 423 were Roman Catholics. in bringing this matter before the House. It certainly was a great misfortune that out of 250 names returned to form the them a sentence disproportionate to the panel only twenty were from the Roman facts adduced in evidence. The present Catholic barony of Farney, and these jury system was universally acknowwere placed at the end of the panel; ledged to be unsatisfactory, and he had and no doubt it was a circumstance found it so in practice. With respect to having great weight with the triers. the proposal to select jurors by ballot, The explanation of the sheriff was that an admirable Amendment was to be the barony of Farney being very remote found in the Business Paper of the House from the town of Monaghan, it would to the Jurors Bill introduced by the hon. have been inconvenient for jurors to and gallant Member for Longford (Mr. attend, and he swore that their names O'Reilly). But it was one thing to sewere placed upon the list without any lect a general panel for the Assize by intention of prejudicing M'Kenna. In ballot, and it was another to select å a case, however, like that of the last jury to try a particular case in that Assizes, where the list for trial was one manner. However advantageous the of the heaviest that had ever been known adoption of the former system might be, in Monaghan, the convenience of jurors the latter would never be tolerated for was not, in his opinion, a matter for a moment, because it would take away the sheriff to consider. When the lives from the prisoner the safeguard which of two men were at stake he was bound he now possessed in the right of chalto get the best panel he could pro- lenging, without assigning any reason, cure. Personally little blame could be a certain number of jurymen. He could attached to Mr. Coote, for he swore that not hold out to his hon. Friend any hope he had neither hand, act, nor part in the that a Bill would be brought in during preparation of the list, but, legally, he the present Session ; but no doubt the must of course be held responsible for condition of our jury system would enthe acts of his subordinate; it was not gage the attention of Her Majesty's Gofor him (Mr. Sullivan) to determine what vernment as soon as the state of Public steps should be taken. But what occurred Business afforded a convenient opportuat the last Assizes necessarily formed a nity. With respect to the complaint of great obstruction to the law, and, speak- his hon. Friend about the party procesing as the public prosecutor in Ireland, sion he could give no information, as ho in virtue of his office as Attorney Gene- knew nothing about the matter, which ral, he was bound to say that when had not occurred during his period of M'Kenna came up for trial again next Office, but he thought it required explaAssizes it was impossible that the state nation. He trusted that his hon. Friend of things which existed at the last trial would be satisfied with the answers he in the town of Monaghan could be suf- had given. fered to continue. Without saying whe- Mr. O'REILLY said, that in answer ther the sheriff was wrong or whether to the question whether the fact of a he was right, when confidence had once man's belonging to an Orange society been shaken in the array it would pre- was not sufficient to disqualify him from sent a serious obstacle to the due admi- serving as a juror, he wished to state nistration of justice, if, on a subsequent that an Act of Parliament had been occasion, the people of the county saw passed which suppressed the original the panel again prepared by the same Orange Society. persons that had been found guilty of MAJOR KNOX: You will find that is framing it so as to press with harshness not so. against a particular prisoner. As re- Mr. O'REILLY said, it was on acgarded the observations said to have count of its signs and passwords and been delivered by Mr. Justice Morris, oaths that the original Orange Society who tried the case, he had inquired par- was suppressed ; and a case was laid ticularly into them, and concurred in the before ex-Chancellor Napier, and new propriety of the warning which he had rules were formed, signs and passwords addressed to the triers. It would be, of and oaths were abolished, and a new course, for the Lord Lieutenant to say society was constituted so as to evade with respect to the rioters how in his the law, and there the fact of being an opinion they ought to be dealt with, Orangeman was not a legal disqualificabut he felt persuaded that Mr. Justice tion. He believed that in this particular Lawson would never have passed upon case the evidence of the sub-sheriff was

« ZurückWeiter »