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Donore Farm (Westmeath)

Volume 52: debated on Thursday 24 April 1913

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9.

asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the proceedings at a meeting held near the Donore farm, in county Westmeath, on Sunday, 13th April; whether a deputation from the local branch of the United Irish League, consisting of Mr. McNaboe, Mr. Robins, and others, were permitted by the police to interview Mr. McKenna, the owner of the farm; whether Mr. Robins asked Mr. McKenna to give up the farm, and on his refusal threatened him with boycotting; whether Mr. Robins and Mr. McNaboe afterwards addressed a meeting at Kilbeggan, suggesting the boycotting of Mr. McKenna; and whether, seeing that Mr. Robins and Mr. McNaboc both hold commissions of the peace, he proposes to take any steps to remove them from the commission of the peace and to hold them responsible for their attempts to intimidate Mr. McKenna?

The police authorities inform me that on the occasion of this meeting the deputation referred to asked the county inspector if he would allow them to have an interview with Mr. McKenna. Mr. McKenna consented and the county inspector did not object. The police who were present inform me that no threat to boycott was made at the interview. Subsequently Mr. Robins and Mr. McNaboe addressed the meeting, but no illegal language was used, nor did any incitement to boycott take place. Mr. Robins is an ex-officio magistrate, as Chairman of the Rural District Council, but Mr. McNaboe is not on the Commission of the Peace. It is not intended to take any steps to remove Mr. Robins from the magistracy.

Was the object of the deputation to compel this man to give up his land?

No; I do not think that it was anything of the sort. At all events, its importance was grossly exaggerated and the language reported was not used.