HC Deb 30 March 1868 vol 191 c468

said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether he has seen an account of the Government authorities at Cork having compelled two respectable girls who were present at Mackay's trial (one the sister-in-law to the prisoner) to undress in an exposed room, in disregard of their entreaties that the blind of the window should be drawn down while they were undressing; and to ask if he will direct inquiries to be made as to whether that account is true?


said, in reply, that his attention had not been called to the circumstances of this case until he saw the Notice of the boa. Member on the Paper. He had made inquiries upon the subject, and he had been furnished with a Report from the Constabulary Officer, of which the following was an abstract:— On the day of Mackay's trial for murder much excitement prevailed, and a report was generally circulated that, in the event of conviction, an attempt would be made to rescue, and therefore orders were given that all suspicious persons should be excluded from the Court. The actions of three females while in Court attracted the attention of the police, and roused suspicion, as it was supposed that they might have revolvers or some explosive substance concealed about them. Accordingly, when the Court adjourned, they were brought to the housekeeper's room, where they were searched by the female searcher. Two submitted to the search; the other refused, and she was not searched. The room to which they were taken had no blind to the window; but no person could see into it, as it was only overlooked by the windows of the Judge's and Jury's room, all of whom had left the Court, which was shut up at the time.