IRISH IDEAS

By William O'Brien

Page 78

ARE THE IRISH EVICTED TENANTS KNAVES? [1]

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How do the landlords propose to account for their rage over the determination to submit the case of the Irish evicted tenants to public investigation? They, and Mr. Balfour as their protagonist, have made English platforms ring for years past with denunciations of the Irish agrarian combinations. Who has not listened to Tory orators red to the roots of their hair with indignation against the dishonesty, immorality, and bloodguiltiness of the Plan of Campaign? How many Primrose Dames are there who do not figure it vaguely to themselves as a conspiracy of thriving tenants and criminal agitators, begun with the intention of cheating good landlords of their moderate rents, and carried on by means of cattle houghing and shooting in the legs, until it was at last grappled with and put down by Mr. Balfour of glorious and immortal memory? Why does the Tory heart sink at the proposal to subject the doings of Mr. Balfour and of his wicked enemies to the cold light of an official Commission? A Tory Ministry forced the Parnell Commission on the House of Commons by the gag, dum Pigott erat. Ten years of Irish history was not considered too wide a space for three Unionist judges to roam over in the quest for matter discreditable to the Irish cause. It may be ...continue reading »


[1] Published in the New Review for October, 1892.

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