HC Deb 09 July 1888 vol 328 cc721-2
MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the case of William Hynes, Patrick Collins, and Joseph O'Brien, who were convicted at Milltown Malbay on February 3, under "The Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887," of a conspiracy to compel or induce persons not to sell, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, with hard labour, and whose sentences were increased on appeal to six months' imprisonment with hard labour, Whether at the hearing before the two Resident Magistrates, or at that before the County Court Judge, there was in any of the three cases any evidence of the particular conspiracy mentioned, or any evidence beyond that of the personal refusal of the accused to supply goods; and, if so, what the evidence was; and, if not, whether, in view of the recent judgment of the Exchequer Division of the High Court of Justice in Dublin, in the case of "The Queen v. Heaphy and others," the Government will consider the propriety of either immediately releasing the three accused men from gaol, or of providing for a re-hearing of their cases by a competent tribunal?


In the cases referred to, both before the Resident Magistrates and on appeal, the evidence went far beyond the proof of the personal refusal of the accused to supply goods. A Boycotting conspiracy of the most cruel kind was clearly proved, directed against an old woman named Hannah Connell, who was thereby reduced to starvation, having been kept without food for three days. Additional evidence of importance was given on the appeal; and it was clearly proved, from their own statements and other evidence, that the accused sent Hannah Connell away from their shops in pursuance of a Boycotting conspiracy. The recent judgment of the Exchequer Division has no application to the case of these men. The Government has no power to provide for the re-hearing of the cases as suggested. It was open to the accused to have had a decision of the Superior Court upon the legality of their conviction, if they had thought proper to take that course.


gave Notice that when the Estimates came on he should draw attention to this matter, and should read out the depositions to the House, from which it would appear that no evidence of the kind mentioned was given.