“Carson Above Law”- MP

Posted By: August 22, 2017

 On This Day [in Irish history]
Irish News, August 22, 1917

Eamon Phoenix. Irish News. Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In the House of Commons yesterday, Mr. Jeremiah MacVeagh (Nationalist, South Down) asked the Prime Minister (Mr. Lloyd George) whether his attention had been called to the fact that military courts in Ireland, acting under Martial Law, had sentenced young men to long terms of imprisonment, some being for two years’ hard labor, on charges of illegal drilling and wearing Volunteer uniforms; whether he was aware that, with the encouragement of a member of the War Cabinet, similar acts were committed by thousands of Ulster Unionists, and that in not one case was even a police court summons issued; whether he was aware that the sentences of the military courts were regarded even by those who have no sympathy with drilling as being partisan and vindictive, and is proving that there was one law for the Nationalists and a different law for the Unionists; and whether the War Cabinet would, with a view to establishing impartiality in the administration of the law, direct the immediate release of those sentenced by the military courts.

         Responding, Mr. Bonar Law (Conservative, Chancellor of the Exchequer) said that no action of the kind had been taken except in regard to overt acts and breaking the law. It had been found necessary in some cases to enforce the Defence of the Realm Act in regard to drilling