HC Deb 17 November 1884 vol 293 c1831

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, in the cases of Mr. P. N. Fitzgerald and the Tubbercurry prisoners, the Government propose to offer any compensation, considering that several of the men accused have been held for seven months in prison, and all of them for the greater part of that time, and that the families of all of them were, and are, dependent on their exertions for the maintenance of their position in life; and, whether, in the case of Mr. P. N. Fitzgerald, the Government will particularly consider that the charge of conspiring to murder was left hanging over him until his trial for treason-felony had closed in an acquittal, and was then abandoned without any attempt being made to prove it, and that the principal witnesses produced by the Crown to establish the charge for treason-felony were declared, by a special jury of the city and county of Dublin, to be "unworthy of credence?"


It is wholly contrary to precedent to compensate persons who have been tried for serious crimes by a jury and acquitted, or as regards whom a nolle prosequi has been entered after a jury had declined to convict others on similar evidence; and there is no reason in the present case for departing from that rule. The bill for conspiracy to murder against Fitzgerald was found by the Grand Jury, as well as that for treason-felony. The Crown could only put him on his trial for one charge. His acquittal on one involved in this case, in the opinion of the Attorney General, the abandonment of the other charge.


I shall endeavour to show cause in the case hereafter.