§ MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether John Sullivan, blacksmith, whose sentence of one month's imprisonment, under the Criminal Law Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887, was set aside by the Court of Exchequer on the ground of there being no evidence to justify a conviction, was tried, convicted, and sentenced by Captain Massey, R.M.; whether at Tarbert, County Kerry, in January, certain persons were convicted by the same Captain Massey, R.M., of the offence of being present at a meeting of the Irish National League; whether in passing sentence Captain Massey declared—It had been established to his satisfaction that a meeting had been held; that that fact raised the presumption that it was a National League meeting; and that the onus of proving that it was not a National League mooting rested on the accused;and, whether Captain Massey, R.M., is one of the magistrates of the sufficiency of whose legal knowledge the Lord Lieutenant has satisfied himself, as required by "The Criminal Law Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887?"
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN)(who replied) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
said: John Sullivan was tried, with four others, on a charge of conspiracy to Boycott, before Mr. Macdermott, R.M., and Captain Massey, R.M., and sentenced to one month's imprisonment. This sentence was set aside by the Court of Exchequer on account of the absence of evidence of a Boycotting conspiracy in Sullivan's case. Evidence of such a conspiracy had been given in the first of the cases heard by the magistrates, but it was not formally repeated in 1640 Sullivan's case; and, while the magistrates had had full oral evidence of it, it did not appear on the deposition inspected by the Superior Court, which, therefore, had no judicial knowledge of it existence. As regards the cases heard at Tarbert Petty Sessions, Captain Massey, R.M., reports that the statement quoted is altogether erroneous. Appeals, however, have been taken against the convictions; and I am, therefore, precluded from entering further into the matter. Captain Massey was one of the legally qualified Resident Magistrates under the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act, 1882, and has been re-appointed as one of the magistrates of the sufficiency of whose legal knowledge the Lord Lieutenant has satisfied himself, as required by the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887.