THE LAND QUESTION.
In accordance with a requisition signed by more than two thousand inhabitants of the county of Wicklow, the High Sheriff, David Mahony, Esq., convened a meeting, which was held on Wednesday in the town of Wicklow, "to consider the propriety of petitioning Parliament for the amendment of the existing relations between landlord and tenant." Undeterred by the inclement weather and almost impassable roads the tenant farmers, cottiers, and labouring classes towards noon poured into the town from all parts of the country, including Ark-
low, Baitinglass, Rathdrum, Avoca, New town Mount Kennedy, Tinahely, Ballycon- nell, Kilquiggan, Annacarra, Glendalough, Kilbride, Ballymoreenstace, &c. A large number of the Catholic clergy accompanied the different contingents, which in the ag- gregate formed a large and certainly an earnest and enthusiastic a meeting as any held in Ireland during the present agitation on the land question. In view of the wintry aspect of the season it was arranged that the proceedings should take place in the court-
house, but this was found impracticable owing to the enormous pressure from over crowding, and after the first resolution was moved, seconded, and carried, the meeting had to be adjourned to the open air. At half past two o'clock, the court-house being then densely packed in every part, body, galleries, and side passages, the chair was taken amidst loud cheers by The High Sheriff. The following resolutions were unani mously agreed to : — "That the laws relating to land in Ireland are the prolific source of poverty, wretched- ness, and unthrift, depopulation, and crime." " That Ireland being an almost ex- clusively agricultural country, there is neces- sarily an undue competition for land and, as a consequence, exorbitant rents are but too often demanded, and are agreed to through the necessities of the tenant, entail- ing all the ruinous results of failure and evic- tions ; and that there is no remedy for such a monster evil but skilled, impartial, and public valuation, without prejudice to the improvements of the tenant, and just alike to both landlord and tenant." " That capricious and causeless eviction is tyrannical and oppressive, and in an eminent degree opposed to Christian principle, do- mestic happiness, and public prosperity, and therefore must be put an end to by a posi- tive law, securing the tenant in the posses- sion and use of his farm as long as he pays his fair valued rent, and does not subdivide or sublet without the consent of his land-
lord. " That if the tenant wish to part with his farm, or fail in paying his rent, he shall be empowered by law to sell his marketable in- terest to the highest bidder, the landlord hav- ing the choice of the incoming without pre- judice to the out going tenant, and receiving all arrears." "That a petition, embracing the foregoing resolutions, be adopted by this meeting and signed by the High Sheriff, and presented by our county members in the House of Commons ; and by Earl Fitzwilliam, Earl Carysfort, and Earl Granard in the House of Lords, as the pronouncement of this county on the land question." " That every parish in the county of Wick- low be requested to send a petition to Par- liament for the settlement of this vital ques- tion, in accordance with the foregoing reso- lutions.' The meeting terminated with a cordial vote of thanks to the High Sheriff for pre- siding.