HC Deb 20 April 1888 vol 325 cc10-1
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid) (for Mr. W. J. CORBET) (Wicklow, E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether a large number of Catholic jurors were compelled to attend the recent Assizes at Wicklow, many of them from distant parts of the county, at great inconvenience and cost to themselves, and that, for the trial of prisoners charged with capital offences, the Crown Prosecutor directed all Catholic jurors to stand aside, and so obtained exclusively Protestant juries; whether he is aware that a meeting of Catholic juries was held in the Town Hall of Wicklow on the 9th instant, at which a protest was signed by certain of the jurors ordered to stand aside against the insult to which they considered they had been subjected, repudiating any sympathy with moonlighting, and protesting against the transfer of cases from distant counties; and whether he will take this protest into his consideration?


Sir, I have not seen the protest referred to. I am informed that the Crown Solicitor set aside no one on account of his religion, nor does he nor the Crown Counsel know that the jury was exclusively Protestant or otherwise. The trial was transferred to Wicklow in accordance with the provisions of the 4th section of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, which empowers the Attorney General to transfer the trial to whatever county he thinks a fair and impartial trial can be had.


Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is not a fact that large numbers of Roman Catholic jurors were ordered by the Crown Solicitor to stand aside; and, whether this practice has not been persisted in, not merely in Wicklow, but also in Cork?


I am afraid I cannot give any further information.


Then I shall put a further Question.