HC Deb 17 April 1888 vol 324 cc1484-5
MR. FLYNN(for Mr. J. O'CONNOR) (Tipperary, S.)

asked the Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Michael Russell, Thomas Connors, and Miss Connors, were in January this year convicted of conspiracy for refusing to sell bread to Emergency men, and sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment; whether, on appeal to the County Court, Judge Wall agreed to state a case for a Superior Court, and afterwards refused to state it; whether warrants for the arrest of the accused were issued on the 1st of February; whether they were not arrested until the 15th of March, when the Superior Courts had closed their sittings, and when it was then impossible for the prisoners' solicitor to apply for writ of habeas corpus, as he had announced his intention of doing on the refusal of the County Court Judge to state a case; and, whether he will state the cause of the delay in executing the warrant?


Perhaps I may be allowed to answer the Question of the hon. Member. Michael Russell, Thomas Connors, and Jane Connors were convicted and sentenced for conspiring to refuse to sell, as stated in the Question. They appealed; and the County Court Judge affirmed the sentences on Russell and Thomas Connors, and allowed the case against Jane Connors to stand over to next Quarter Sessions. The County Court Judge, on being asked to state a case, said he would look into the matter and see if he had power to do so. He did subsequently refuse to state a case. The announcement of the County Court Judge's decision was not made known until some days after the 1st of February. The issue of the warrants was then referred to the Resident Magistrates, who originally tried the case, and when they were signed their execution was carried out as soon as practicable. The Divisional Magistrate states that the prisoners' solicitor did not announce his intention of applying for a writ of habeas corpus. The prisoners' case, however, was in no way prejudiced; inasmuch as although the regular sittings of the Courts had terminated, a vacation Judge has always been accessible, who would have full jurisdiction to hear such an application.