§ MR. LALOR (Queen's Co., Leix)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with regard to the case of Maurice Molony, Michael Galvin, Cornelius M'Auliffe, and James Quinlan, who were tried and convicted before Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, at the Cork Winter Assizes of 1881, and sentenced to penal servitude for five years, If it be true that there is a prison regulation by which 12¾ months are allowed to a prisoner sentenced to a term of five years, provided he does not violate the prison rules; whether Maurice Molony or Michael Galvin ever broke the prison rules; were Maurice Molony and Michael Galvin entitled to their discharge on or about the 6th of November last, and are they still in prison; does a prisoner for every breach of the prison rules receive some days' punishment, and are those days deducted from the 12¾ months which he would otherwise have a claim to as a reduction of his term of imprisonment; were Cornelius M'Auliffe and James Quinlan, who suffered a loss of one month from their claim to a reduction of 12¾ months in consequence of having broken the prison rules, entitled to their discharge on or about the 6th day of December last, and are they still in prison; and will the Chief Secretary order the release of the said Maurice Molony, Michael Galvin, Cornelius M'Auliffe, and James Quinlan from prison?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
Sir, the facts are substantially, I believe, as stated in the hon. Member's Question. The release of convicts on licence before the expiration of their sentence is frequently delayed by the Crown in the exercise of statutory authority for special reasons. In these cases the release has been delayed in consequence of the disturbed state of the part of the country from which the prisoners came. The time has now, I think, arrived when the case of these men may be submitted to the Lord Lieutenant with a view to their release on licence, and I will give instructions accordingly.