HC Deb 04 August 1890 vol 347 cc1747-8

I beg to ask the Attorney Gensral for Ireland whether he is aware that at the last Fermoy Petty Sessions, Mr. Redmond Donegan was charged with and found guilty of assaulting Mr. J. D. Bremner, T.C., and was fined by the Magistrate 2s. 6d. and costs; that at the same Sessions Mr. James Maye, charged with a technical assault on a policeman (which occurred so far back as September, 1889), was sentenced to seven days' imprisonment at hard labour; and if he can explain why the latter case was tried before a Court constituted under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, consisting of two Resident Magistrates, whilst the former was tried before a Bench of ordinary Magistrates, under the ordinary law?


I am informed that the difference in the modes of procedure and in the punishments inflicted was due to the difference in the nature of the assaults. The assault on Mr. Bremner is reported to have been a very trifling one, committed by an old man on a comparatively young man in the course of an angry discussion. The other assault was not a technical one as suggested in the question, but an actual and deliberate one, committed in open Court, where Maye was at the time on trial, and where the constable was on duty.


May I ask whether the difference in the procedure in the two cases was due to the fact that Maye was a Nationalist?


I say distinctly—no, Sir.