HC Deb 06 February 1891 vol 350 cc151-2
MR. O'KELLY, Roscommon, N.)

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland on how many days the Court of Inquiry, under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, has sat in Castlerea between the 1st of December last and the 4th of February; how many persons have been sent to gaol by that Court within that time for refusing to give evidence; whether he is aware that several persons have been sent to gaol five or six times in succession; that the Magistrate, Mr. Brady, R.M., questions many of the witnesses brought before him, who are tenants on Lord de Freyn's estate, as to the amount of rent they owe; and that, for the purpose of effecting the arrest of many of these witnesses, their houses are broken into; how many women and children have been arrested; and is it the fact that the wife of Owen Lavin, who is in gaol, was arrested within the last few days in an advanced state of pregnancy, and is now, in consequence of the arrest, in a pitiful condition of health?


The legal inqairy under the Crimes Act at Castlerea opened on December 29 last, and has since proceeded, with but few intermissions. Twenty-nine persons in all have been committed in custody for successive periods of seven days either for refusing to be sworn or, when sworn, for refusing to give evidence. In no instance was the house of any person broken into. No woman has been committed to prison at any stage of the inquiry. Eleven women in all were brought up as witnesses on warrant. No children were arrested or summoned. It is not the case that the wife of Owen Lavin has been committed to gaol, nor does there appear to be any ground for believing her to be in an advanced state of pregnancy. She made no statement to the police to that effect when told her attendance was required at the inquiry, but, on the contrary, offered to walk into Castlerea, a distance of ten miles. The police, however, provided her with a seat upon a car.