HC Deb 26 June 1888 vol 327 cc1268-70
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, in reference to the duty devolving on Resident Magistrates in Ireland, under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887, of stating a case for the Superior Courts where the application of the defendant or his legal adviser is not a frivolous one, Whether he has any knowledge of the case of Mr. Patrick Corcoran, foreman printer to The Cork Examiner, who was tried on January 9 last by Messrs. Gardiner and Redmond, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment, being two terms of one month each; whether he is aware that the magistrates refused to increase the sentence to allow of appeal or to state a case for the Superior Courts, though application was made by the defendant's counsel, Mr. Gardiner saying, in reply to the said counsel, that— They were not disposed to state a case for the Superior Court, for the simple reason that if they thought the case was a frivolous one they would have stated so at once; if he is aware that the counsel thereupon retired from the case, and declined to defend his client upon the second charge; and, if, in view of these facts, he will make inquiry into the fitness of these two Resident Magistrates to adjudicate in cases under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act?


It appears that Patrick Corcoran was tried on the 9th of January last, before Messrs. Gardiner and Redmond, upon two separate and distinct charges, and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one month on each of the charges. An application was made to the magistrates to increase the sentence, which they refused, being of opinion that the sentence imposed by them was the proper one. An application to state a case was refused, not on the ground stated in the Question, but on the ground that the application was frivolous. It appears from the Report before me that the counsel for the accused left the Court before the second charge was proceeded with. I see no necessity for making any inquiry.

MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)

Are not Messrs. Gardiner and Redmond the same magistrates who tried the Killeagh prisoners, and are they not both ex-policemen?


They are the same magistrates.


Are they not both ex-policemen?


I am not prepared to state that myself; but the information will appear on the Return which has been furnished to the House.