HC Deb 26 June 1890 vol 346 cc40-1
MR. ROCHE (Galway, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the report in the Freeman's Journal of 23rd June of the appeal heard at Portumna on Saturday last, of Mr. Lyons, a merchant of Portumna, and three other men, against a decision of Mr. Hickson, R.M., and Mr. Mayne, R.M., sentencing them to two months' imprisonment, and a rule of bail for alleged conspiracy to compel or induce a man named James Mitchel not to buy hay from a man named Dillon; whether he is aware that Mitchel, who was produced by the Crown as a witness, denied that the defendants had committed the offence, and that why he did not take the hay was "because he was disappointed about a horse to carry it away"; that the only other witness produced by the Crown was Dillon, who swore that he (Dillon) had previously been imprisoned for "breaking a neighbour's head with a shovel"; that the witnesses for the defence swore that the defendants were engaged on their legitimate business in the market on the day in question; whether he is aware that the same evidence was given at the trial before the Resident Magistrates, and that the County Court Judge of Galway (Mr. Henn, Q.C.), said— He could not overrule the decision of the Magistrates, as he must assume they based their Judgment on a full and fair consideration of the evidence; and whether, under the circumstances, and considering that the accused did not get the benefit of a Judgment based on the re-hearing, he will have inquiry made into the matter?


The facts stated in the first paragraph are accurate. As regards the second paragraph, the statement appears to me to be incorrect or misleading, but I do not propose to attempt to give a summing up of the evidence, or an analysis of the testimony of each witness. The County Court Judge did re-hear the case and did confirm the sentences, and I see no ground for further action.


Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that Mitchel swore in Court what is stated in the question?


No. I said it was not a convenient practice to sum up evidence given by various witnesses in a case twice tried.


Has the right hon. Gentleman before him the information of the officials in Ireland?


I have been supplied with some statements as to the evidence given in this case.