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JE-i.''37] ARREST OF PIKENIX PARK MURDERERS :3
The Executive, however, showed more vigour in their pursuit of the Phoenix Park murderers. In January they were arrested. In February the public inquiry began. There was startling evidence; there were ' astounding revelations.' As the investigation proceeded Englishmen cherished the hope that proof of complicity in the crime would be brought home to the parliamentary party, perhaps to Parnell himself, and that the l Home Rule bubble ' would thus at length be effectually pricked. One of the murderers, James Carey, turned informer, and gave everyone away. Carey was a Home Ruler. He was personally known to several of the Irish members, one of whom had proposed him as a member of the Dublin Town Council. The knives with which the murders were committed had been concealed in the London office of the National League. They had been brought to Dublin by Mrs. Frank Byrne, the wife of the paid secretary of the English organisation. Byrne himself •\N&& particeps criminis.
These revelations whetted the English appetite, and every day the newspaper reports were eagerly scanned in the expectation of finding that the Irish members themselves were involved in the plots of the 'Invincibles.' 'This,' Sir William Harcourt isr reported to have said, ' will take the starch out o the boys.'
Mr. Forster would have been more than human if he did not take advantage of the public excitement and the public sympathy—for the Phoenix Park inquiry proved that his life had been almost constantly in danger—to strike at Parnell, and even at the Ministry. An amendment to the Address (moved by Mr. Gorst), expressing the hope that the recent change in Irish