§ MR. CONDON (Tipperary, E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the case of John Phelan, of Drangan, County Tipperary, who is now undergoing a sentence of two months' imprisonment in Clonmel Gaol for refusing to sell a box of matches to an Emergency man named Mitchell; whether he is aware that, though de- 725 scribed as a shopkeeper, he merely sells a few clay pipes and some boxes of matches, and that his family are in danger from destitution by his detention in gaol; and, whether, under the circumstances, the Government can see their way to remitting the remainder of the sentence?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I understand that Phelan was sentenced, with two others, to two months' imprisonment for taking part in a criminal conspiracy to compel and induce persons not to deal with Mitchell, who was a caretaker on an evicted farm. Phelan keeps a small shop. Mitchell had asked for a clay pipe, candle, and matches, which were refused. Phelan, in addition to keeping a shop, also works as a labourer. His family are, it is said, badly off through his having been sent to prison. Phelan and the two others appealed against their sentences. The County Court Judge confirmed it in the case of Phelan and one of the others. In the case of the third man the sentence was reversed, on the ground of insufficient evidence. The Government do not see their way to adopt the course suggested in the concluding portion of the Question.