§ MR. ALEXANDER BLAINE
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, at the Winter Assizes held at Omagh, 12th December 1885, before Baron Dowse, two prisoners, named Robert Cooper and John G. Bleakley, were indicted for firing at District Inspector Bigley and a police patrol; and, secondly, with unlawful assembly; whether the Law Officers of the Crown agreed to withdraw the first indictment, prisoners having pleaded guilty to the second, upon which they were sentenced to a month's imprisonment with hard labour; whether, at the Belfast Winter Assizes, 11th December 1882, the was McCann, of Lurgan, was indicted for firing at the police and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude by Mr. Justice Harrison; and, whether, in view of the difference of procedure in the similar cases by the Law Officers of the Crown, Her Majesty's Government will terminate, after nearly four years, the imprisonment of Thomas McCann?
THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY)
The circumstances mentioned in the first and second paragraphs took place in the time of the late Government; and I have no precise information on the subject. The facts, I assume, are correctly stated. Thomas M'Cann was convicted, as stated; and I am informed that the circumstances of the case, and of the other case mentioned in the Question, are by no means analogous. A Memorial was presented by M'Cann to Lord Carnarvon, and Lord Carnarvon is said to have carefully investigated the case, and decided that he could not interfere with the sentence.