HC Deb 28 February 1890 vol 341 cc1489-91
MR. CONDON (Tipperary, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether it is a fact that Mr. J. E. O'Mahony, editor of the Tipperary Nationalist, now undergoing a sentence of six weeks' imprisonment under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, has been removed to Tullamore Gaol from Clonmel Gaol, where he had been in consultation with his solicitors, Messrs. Burke and Crean, of Clonmel, regarding his defence in cases of libel brought against him by Colonel Caddell, R.M., and R.Power, bailiff, for publications in his paper; whether he is aware that Mr. O'Mahony's removal deprives him of the opportunity of holding necessary consultations with his solicitors; whether he will order Mr. O'Mahony's re-transference to Clonmel Gaol, so as to be near his solicitors; whether he is aware that, although Drs. Crean and Flynn certified that Mr. O'Mahony had been suffering immediately before his imprisonment from a severe attack of influenza, from which he had not fully recovered, he was placed on prison diet in Clonmel Gaol, and that Alderman Cantwell, Visiting Justice, protested against Mr. O'Mahony's treatment; what is Mr. O'Mahony's condition of health at present; and what steps have been taken to give effect to the recommendations of Drs. Crean and Flynn, that Mr. O'Mahony required "very careful treatment and a nourishing régime"?

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I have also to ask the Chief Secretary, in reference to this case, whether the General Prisons Board have received any Report as to the condition and treatment of Mr. O'Mahony, editor of the Tipperary Nationalist, in Clonmel Gaol; if lie has seen the statement made by Alderman Cantwell, a Visiting Justice, that he found Mr. O'Mahony in a "very weak condition," and that Mr. O'Mahony, whilst suffering from a bad attack, was left on a plank bed and on prison diet, with nothing to drink but cold water, the result being "complete prostration and utter loss of appetite"; and if he will direct the Prisons Board to order an inquiry into the facts of this case? I also desire to know if it is true that Mr. O'Mahony, editor of the Tipperary Nationalist, has been removed from Clonmel Gaol to Tullamore Gaol; what is the reason for transfer; and what is the approximate cost of the removal?


With the permission of the House, I shall now also reply to the two questions of the hon. Member for North Cork on the same subject. The General Prisons Board report that the prisoner mentioned has been transferred from Clonmel to Tullamore Prison. He is afforded the usual facilities for communicating with his solicitor in the latter prison, and has been in communication with one there. The Board have no information as to the alleged certificate of the doctors named. It is not the case that Alderman Cantwell made any entry in the visitor's book. He stated that he did not consider it necessary. The prisoner doss not sleep on a plank bed. He also receives a special diet. The cost of transfer has not yet come before the Board.

MR. J. O'CONNOR (Tipperary, S.)

I should be glad to learn what are the special facilities afforded to Mr. O'Mahony for consulting with his solicitors, who reside in Clonmel? I also wish to know whether the circumstances of the case were placed in the hands of the District Inspector and sent to Tullamore Prison?


I cannot answer these questions without notice.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

Is it the fact that this gentleman is detained in a prison at Tullamore, and that he cannot consult his solicitors in Clonmel in reference to legal proceedings which have been commenced against him? I may call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the fact that a different course was adopted in the case of my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Cork (Mr. W. O'Brien.)


Will the right hon. Gentleman give instructions that Mr. O'Mahony shall be at once transferred from Tullamore to Clonmel?


I will cause an inquiry to be made of the Prisons Board as to the circumstances of the case.


Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the second paragraph of my question as to the condition in which Mr. O'Mahony now is?


I have no information on the subject.