HC Deb 09 April 1804 vol 22 cc1593-4
MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the fact that on the 3rd of November, near Six Mile Cross, in the County of Tyrone, cattle, the property of William Sawyers, which were being driven by George Sawyers, a son of William Sawyers, and a man named Joseph M'Farland, wore seized by two bailiffs carrying out a decree against Joseph M'Farland at the suit of the Ulster Bank; and that M'Farland and George Sawyers, forresisting this seizure, were arrested and returned for trial to the Quarter Sessions at Omagh, County Tyrone; that, before allowing the cattle to be released, the bailiffs insisted on the instructions of the solicitor for the Ulster Bank on payment of the amount of the decree, which George Sawyers, who had got out on bail, paid under protest; that the money so paid by George Sawyers was recovered on a decree obtained against the Ulster Bank at the Belfast Quarter Sessions last January; that George Sawyers was subsequently put on his trial at the Omagh Quarter Sessions, and convicted for the alleged rescue: whether he is aware that the Sessional Crown Solicitor for County Tyrone (Mr. T. C. Dickie), who prosecuted George Sawyers at the Omagh Quarter Sessions, is also the Solicitor for the Ulster Bank who obtained the degree for the said bank against M'Farland; whether Crown Solicitors are entitled to utilise their office as Crown Solicitors in the interest of their private clients; what justification was there for the issue of this warrant without notice, and under such unusual circumstances; and whether directions will be given that these proceedings will be immediately discontinued?


The first paragraph sets forth the facts with substantial accuracy except, as I am informed, that the ownership of the cattle was not tried by the Judge at Quarter Sessions. The two men, M'Farland and Sawyers, were arrested on a warrant obtained by the bailiff, and were tried at the Omagh January Quarter Sessions, when they pleaded guilty and wore allowed out on their own recognisances to attend for judgment when called upon. They appear to have been dealt with in this manner in consequence of Sawyer's undertaking not to execute the decree obtained by him against the Bank. Contrary to the arrangement thus entered into, Sawyers levied the decree, and the Sessional Crown Solicitor, who appears to have regarded this as a breach of faith, served him with the usual 10 days' notice to come up for judgment at next Quarter Sessions. No warrant has been issued in connection with this branch of the case. The attention of the Attorney General having been drawn to the facts of the case some days ago, directed that the notice to appear for judgment should be at once withdrawn by the Sessional Crown Solicitor.