HC Deb 25 May 1883 vol 279 cc889-90

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been called to the case of two young lads, named Conroy and Hayes, or Hynes, who were convicted at the last Summer Assizes, held in Wicklow, on a charge of posting a threatening letter to the Ovoca Postmaster, and who have just been liberated from Wexford Gaol on the expiration of their sentence of nine months' imprisonment; whether it is true that they were convicted solely on the evidence of two other lads, named Thomas Thorpe and William J. Thrubshaw; whether it is a fact that these lads recently made a false charge against two men, named Fahy and Doyle, of attempting to murder them by drowning in the Ovoca River; whether it is true that their evidence was directly contradicted by several witnesses, and the men instantly acquitted; whether a summons was taken out by the defendants Fahy and Doyle against them for perjury, but withdrawn on the undertaking that the Crown would prosecute; whether the Crown have done so or have proceeded on a different charge— namely, that of writing threatening letters to several persons, including the Lord Lieutenant and the local sub-inspector; and, whether, if the facts are as stated, he will take proper steps to have the Law fully vindicated, and the two lads, who have undergone imprisonment on false evidence, compensated for their suffering?


It is the case, Sir, that two young men named Hynes and Conroy were convicted of sending a threatening letter to the Ovoca Postmaster; but it is not true that they were convicted solely on the evidence of Thorpe and Thrubshaw. There was corroborative testimony by other witnesses. Thorpe recently charged two men named Fahy and Doyle with having tied a rope round him and thrown him into the river. The case was fully investigated at the Petty Sessions, and, Thorpe's statement being uncorroborated, informations wore refused. Summonses for perjury were taken out against Thorpe—not, as alleged in the Question, by the men he had accused, but by two little girls who were witnesses in the case. The sub-inspector explained to the magistrates that the proceedings were informal and premature, and the case was dismissed—the police undertaking to prosecute in the usual way, if, after due inquiry, it should seem proper to do so. In the meantime, the two boys, Thorpe and Thrubshaw, had been arrested on the further charge of sending threatening letters to the Lord Lieutenant and the sub-inspector, and this case is now pending. It will be before the magistrates at Ovoca on Wednesday next.