HC Deb 07 March 1882 vol 267 cc378-80

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether his attention has been directed to the following statement, which appeared in the "Freeman" newspaper of the 28th ultimo:— A long special investigation was held in the Courthouse at Maryborough here to-day, before Mr. M. Sheffield Capan, into a charge of alleged conspiracy to shoot Colonel H. D. Carden.… After a full and searching investigation the two farmers accused, Larkin and Williams, were discharged, and Scully, the informer, placed in the dock on a charge of wilful and corrupt perjury. Larkin and Williams were then sworn, and proved that everything that Scully had testified against them was wrong and utterly false, and Head Constable Walsh, of Mount-mellick Station, and Mrs. Margaret Smith, of Acragar, gave further important evidence, quite sufficient to fix the charge of perjury on the informer. The prisoner was then committed to take his trial…. His worship expressed an opinion that the two men, Larkin and Williams, should be indemnified for the expenses they were put to; whether the facts of the case are as therein stated; whether the informer Scully was led by the police to believe that he would receive a pecuniary reward for lodging the information he swore to; and, whether he is prepared to recommend that Mr. Larkin and Mr. Williams be indemnified?


What occurred was this. Scully came to the Constabulary and informed them of an alleged conspiracy to murder; he was not led by the police or anyone else to believe that he would receive any reward; his information was voluntary, and he made a deposition before a magistrate against Larkin and Williams. During the investigation of this charge the Sessional Crown Solicitor (who was conducting the prosecution) considered it proper to make a special Report of the case to me, on which I directed him to withdraw the charge against Larkin and Williams, and prefer a charge of perjury against Scully. This was done, the Sessional Crown Solicitor informing the magistrate in open Court that this course was taken by my direction as Attorney General. Scully was committed for trial, and I have since directed his prosecution at the Assizes. Meantime, I suspend my judgment on Scully's guilt or innocence. I merely have decided that there is a case proper to be submitted to a jury. In answer to the last paragraph of the Question, I can only say that there is no indemnity fund at my disposal; and, therefore, I am not, nor, I believe, is the Chief Secretary, prepared to recommend an indemnity.


wished to know whether this man Scully, before his com- mittal, made any application for a reward in pursuance of the Circular issued by the Executive?


repeated that no application to such an effect had been made to the Constabulary or other authorities.