HC Deb 24 March 1892 vol 2 cc1666-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to a statement written by Mr. Thomas A. MacAwly, and published in the Western People newspaper of the 12th instant, in which he states that he and four other prisoners confined in Mountjoy Prison at the time of Mr. P. W. Nally's death in the same prison, asked to be examined before the Coroner's jury, and were refused by the Governor on the ground that being convicts they had forfeited (de puire) all civil rights; whether this action of the Mountjoy Prison authorities in this matter was authorised by the Prisons Board; and, will he afford any, and what, facilities for obtaining through other than official channels the evidence which those prisoners still confined in Mountjoy Prison were willing to give relating to the cause of Mr. Nally's death, before the Irish Prisons Estimates are taken in this House?


I have seen the extract from the statement referred to which the hon. Member has sent me, and I am having inquiry on its general subject made. With regard to the particular point mentioned in the question, the General Prisons Board report that it is not the case that the Governor refused to allow the convicts to be examined on the ground alleged. They were, on the contrary, informed that if the Coroner required their evidence they would be called. This was strictly in accordance with the course always followed in prisons.