HC Deb 08 July 1889 vol 337 cc1678-80
DR. FITZGERALD (Longford, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he can state the reason why Irish Members of Parliament going to prison under the Criminal Law and Procedure Act are now conveyed in close prison vans, whereas in the cold season of the year they have been conveyed in open brakes or ears?


There does not appear to be any general change in the mode of conveying to prison Irish Members of Parliament convicted under the statute quoted. But, as I have already explained, in reply to a question asked in this House a few days ago, the practice at Clonmel of conveying such prisoners on the constabulary breaks has been discontinued since May last, owing to the refusal of the hon. Members for East Tipperary (Mr. T. J. Condon), and South Tipperary (Mr. John O'Connor), to enter the breaks when being brought to Clonmel Prison.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

It is true, in regard to Dr. Tanner, that the prison van into which he was forced is one that is not even used for convicts at Clonmel?


I must ask for notice before I can answer that question.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the prison van is without ventilation, and is absolutely sickening?


I have no information to that effect.

MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether any, and, if so, what instructions or explanations have been issued by the Prisons Board of Ireland or by the Government as to the mode in which the Prison Authorities are to carry out the new rule with reference to the exercise of prisoners, or pointing out the class of persons who are to be relieved from association with other criminals; whether it is a fact that the Reverend Father Stephens and Mr. Kelly. imprisoned under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act in Derry Gaol, have since the passing of the rule been required to take exercise with certain Belfast men who had been convicted of wholesale frauds and forgeries in connection with the lives of inebriates and persons suffering from fatal diseases, and whether, on declining to do so, they were deprived of exercise and confined to punishment cells; whether the Belfast forgers had on their part been relieved under the new rules from wearing the prison dress and from taking exercise with other felons; and, whether such action of the Prison Authorities is in accordance with instructions of the Prisons Board, or meets with the sanction of the Government?

MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

had also the following Question on the Paper:—I beg to ask the Chief Secretary whether it is true, as stated in the Daily News of Thursday, that Father Stephens and Mr. Kelly, who are serving a term of imprisonment under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act in Derry Gaol, were ordered on Wednesday morning to exercise with the prisoners convicted for insurance frauds in Belfast, and, on their refusal to do so, were, and are, still confined to their cells; and, whether, having regard to the fact that Captain Wilson committed an error of judgment (which was admitted by the Chief-Secretary) in refusing to allow two female prisoners from Gweedore to wear warm clothing supplied to them by friends for the journey between Derry and Letterkenny, and also, on the 20th May, 1889, remonstrated with the Rev. John Doherty, Roman Catholic administrator and chaplain of the gaol, for calling to see— A certain class of prisoners, such as the Rev. Mr. Stephens, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. M'Hugh, oftener than others confined in the prison; the Chief Secretary, as head of the Prisons Board (Ireland), will take any and what steps to prevent future errors of judgment on the part of this Gentleman?


In regard to the question of the right hon. Gentleman and also of the hon. Member for South Donegal (Mr. Mac Neill) I have to say that I only received a Report just before entering the House, and I shall be obliged therefore if the questions are deferred until to-morrow.