In 1887, the Times of London published a series of very damaging articles alleging that Charles Stewart Parnell was in sympathy with the 1882 Phoenix Park murders. Parnell demanded an inquiry by a select committee of parliament. The government refused, but legislated instead for a Statutory Commission of Inquiry. The motivation was not justice for Parnell, but a desire to wrongfoot the nationalist movement on the Coercion Bill. Contrary to government expectations, the commission cleared...
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