18 DECEMBER 1886, Page 1

The Irish Judges have this week declared Mr. Dillon's agita-

tion illegal. Mr. Dillon will not desist from his agitation, and the Government therefore have been compelled to act, and to act strongly. On Saturday, Mr. Dillon's case came on for hearing in the Irish Court of Queen's Bench, and after three days' argu- ment, judgment was given on Tuesday. Mr. Dillon made, as usual, a remarkably frank speech. He did not impugn the reports of his speeches which had been given. Though criticising some ridicu- lous grammatical mistakes, these reports fairly represented the drift of his remarks. He complained greatly of being tried in a fashion to elude recourse to a jury. He thought it a great hard- ship that he should be tried before Judges only, and that he should be denied the right of producing witnesses who would give oral evidence as to the effect of his speeches. But he admitted frankly that he had advised the people to com- bine against their landlords, in order to compel such a reduction of rent as was thought, on an average, reasonable. He admitted

having advised tenants who could pay not to pay, as well as those who could not pay ; this he thought necessary to strengthen the hands of the poorer tenants. "The majority of the landlords had unquestionably given reductions to their tenants, and it was to compel the remainder to follow their example that the movement was in existence." "Not a single instance could be adduced in which the tenants had refused a reasonable offer." "The only conspiracy he had been engaged in was to endeavour to stay the hand of the evictor, as also the hand of the assassin ; and the movement would end by putting a stop to what the Executive had been vainly trying to stop for one hundred and fifty years,—agrarian assassination in Ireland. He would go on in the work, by the help of God, as long as he lived."