HC Deb 19 July 1889 vol 338 c858

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, during the progress of a trial in Dublin, in which he was plaintiff, Mr. Wilfred Blunt swore that his sight had been injured by the glare of the whitewashed walls of his cell, when in prison under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act; whether he is aware that the eyesight of Mr. Cox, M.P., has been seriously and permanently impaired by his frequent imprisonments, and that this injury is directly attributed to the same causes of which Mr. Wilfred Blunt complained; and, what steps, if any, does he propose to take to secure that in future the eyesight of political and other prisoners should not be injured by imprisonment?


The General Prisons Board report that there is no medical evidence that Mr. Blunt's sight was injured either in Galway or Kilmainham Prisons. They are not aware whether he swore at the trial mentioned that his eyesight had been injured by the glare of the whitewashed walls of his cell; but as a matter of fact, so far as Galway Prison was concerned, all the cells during Mr. Blunt's confinement there and for long before had been coloured yellow. Mr. Cox, M.P., has been suffering from ophthalmia, in consequence of which he was removed to the prison hospital; but this does not appear to have been produced by any glare of the cell walls, nor, so far as the Board are aware, has his sight bean seriously and permanently impaired.

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