HC Deb 12 April 1889 vol 335 cc361-2
Mr. MURPHY (Dublin, St. Patrick's)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that, when a Protestant gamekeeper, named Frackleton, was tried last week in Dublin for the wilful murder of a man named Kavanagh, a special jury, on the application of the prisoner, was empanelled; whether it is a fact that no juror was ordered by the Crown to stand aside while the prisoner exhausted his challenges; whether the result was a jury composed entirely of the co-religionists of the prisoner; whether the verdict was one of manslaughter; whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Attorney General asked Judge Murphy, after the jury retired, to say "that there was not a shadow or a particle of evidence reducing the crime to manslaughter," and that the Judge, in sentencing the prisoner, said that he feared "lest in any way he had failed in placing before the jury the irresistible case made against tho prisoner of having taken away the life of one human being, and having all but taken away the life of another, without any provocation from the man Kavanagh now dead, or from the other victim of his drunken fury;" whether he is aware that the murdered man, Kavanagh, has left a widow and three children in a destitute condition; and, will the Government, following a precedent in a somewhat similar case, grant them a sum of money from the Compassionate Fund?


I proceed to answer those portions of the question to which a reply was not given yesterday. The jury was not a special one. The Attorney General did make the application referred to. The Judge did make the observations attributed to him. It is believed that Kavanagh left a wife and children; their precise circumstances are unknown. I am not aware of any precedent for the course suggested in the last paragraph, but if the hon. Member will supply me with the particulars, I shall be glad to consider it.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that two or three years ago in the time of Lord Spencer an Orangeman was murdered in Belfast and the Government of that day gave to the widow and family a sum of £100 out of the Compassionate Fund?


That would not justify the Government in making an allowance in the present case if the circumstances are altogether different. If it can be shown that money has been given from a benevolent fund under similar circumstances, I shall be glad to consider the matter.

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