25 DECEMBER 1880, Page 1

Nothing pleasant is reported this week from Ireland. There have

been no more agrarian murders, for the Mullen murder is clearly a case of private vengeance ; but the sway of the League is spreading, and the terror of all connected with land, of the Magistrates, and of witnesses, increases, till it reaches panic dimensions, and suggests that in many cases it is purposely exaggerated, in order to compel Government to resort to violence. One gentleman in particular has distinctly re- fused evidence on that account, and has been imprisoned. The regular written excuse for any neglect of duty is that the country is Eat governed. Unfortunately, this is too true, as far as Magistrates and jurymen are' concerned. The Magistrates shrink from their work as Engifsh Magistrates did not shrink in the worst Trades-Union dais; and Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, at Cork, has felt compelled to say that several of his juries have failed under exteraal influence, till he doubts if the institution can be maintained. One case was particularly bad. A man named O'Halloran was twice tried by two juries for posting up threatening notices at Tulla, in Clare, but in spite of the positive evidence of the police, who saw the gate-posts free of notices, saw him approach them, and then saw the notices posted on them, the juries disagreed, and were dis-

charged without a verdict. The failure of juries and of evidence in Ireland is by far the most serious symptom of social decay, and suggests the necessity of introducing trial by Judges, and the French system of interrogating the prisoner. He, at all events, knows if he is guilty or not.