10 SEPTEMBER 1910, Page 11



[To THE EDITOR Or THE " SPECTATOR."] SIE,—Your correspondent " An Irishman," writing os "Cromwell and Ireland" in your last issue, makes the following observation :—" It is scarcely possible for those who differ from the United Irish League to hold a meeting unless protected by a large army of police. There is a striking object-lesson in the riots at Bantry on Sunday week." The meeting at Bantry which was attacked was a meeting of the United L•ish League. It was attacked in pursuance of the policy adopted by Mr. O'Brien's following,— to break up and disturb meetings wherever the possibility presented itself. Until a week ago at Crossmolina, I do not know that any meeting of Mr. O'Brien's friends was interfered with, and in that case the action—which I personally deplore— was a reprisal for a similar course adopted by Mr. O'Brien's friends at a meeting last January. The opening meeting of the All-for-Ireland League was held in Limerick, a city which returns one of Mr. Redmond's party by an overwhelming

majority, and I heard of no interruption. The policy of mob-violence as against freedom of speech is the policy of Mr. O'Brien and his "conciliationists." In the North of Ireland Unionists and Nationalists do not interfere with each other's political meetings. "An Irishman" adds that "the prosperous districts are so strongly opposed to Home-rule that they are prepared to face civil war rather than accept it." Is that his diagnosis of the state of County Wexford, for example ? Your correspondent is, however, not really worse informed than the majority of gentlemen who write to English newspapers on the same subject, and I agree with him in thinking that Mr. O'Brien's speeches furnish splendid ammu- nition to those who wish to argue against Home-rule.—I am,