HC Deb 24 June 1889 vol 337 cc544-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the prisoners James Mullett and Patrick Nally were visited by a Mr. Thompson on behalf of the Times some time before their removal from Downpatrick to Millbank Prison, as witnesses for the Times at the Royal Commission; whether each prisoner was brought into the presence of Thompson without having been previously told even his name or the object of his visit; whether he is aware that Thompson promised Mullett and Nally that each would have "his liberty and would be put into a good position besides, if he consented to serve the Times"; whether Thompson said to Nally that his parents were now "growing very old, and that they desired to see him before they died"; whether he is aware that Thompson afterwards, in February last, went to Mrs. Mullett, wife of James Mullett, and asked her to use her influence with her husband, whom he had seen, "to swear what would he beneficial for the Times, that it would be of great benefit both to her and to him, and that his imprisonment would then cease at once"; and whether, considering the nature of these allegations, he will grant an independent inquiry, by a Committee of Members of this House, into all the circumstances in connection with these visits of Mr. Thompson and other agents of the Times, to persons undergoing terms of imprisonment?


The General Prisons Board report that no trace can be found in the records of their office of any such visit having been authorized or paid by Mr. Thompson to convicts Mullett and Nally in Downpatrick Prison. Inquiry is being made of the Governor of the prison as to whether he has any knowledge of it.