HC Deb 21 August 1894 vol 29 cc175-6
MR. KEIR-HARDIE (West Ham, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether two warders, named Monaghan and Barret, who were discharged by the Irish Prisons Board, have been reinstated, the former through an action in the Law Courts and the latter by a Parliamentary inquiry; whether these two men had previously memorialised the Government, and were informed that their cases could not be re-opened; whether the refusal of such, re-consideration was in any way influenced by a Report received from the General Prisons Board by the Government; whether others, who consider themselves to have been unjustly treated, have likewise memorialised for a sworn investigation into the circumstances resulting in their discharge, and have been refused; whether some of these men are at present prevented by the Prisons Board from obtaining employment in other public Departments; and whether, in consideration of what has transpired in the cases of Monaghan and Barrett, and to allay the discontent that prevails in the prison service in Ireland, he will cause a Select Committee to be appointed to investigate all cases in which a sworn inquiry has been demanded?


Monaghan was dismissed from the Prisons Service on the finding of one of the Divisional Magistrates of Dublin that he was drunk and incapable in the public streets. As a result, however, of an action subsequently brought by him against the Prisons Board he was acquitted by a special jury of the charge of drunkenness, and by order of the Executive Government was thereupon reinstated in the Service and his back pay and allowances made good to him. The hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension relative to the case of Barrett. He resigned his position as prison warder by his own act in May, 1892. It is true he was recently offered re-employment in the Prisons Service, but the conditions which he asked to be attached to his re-engagement were not such as could be acceded to by the Executive. I personally went into all the facts of this man's case, and my decision was that if he were restored it could only be on the terms attaching to a fresh appointment. But this offer Barrett declined to accept. It is true that I have from time to time received Memorials from other persons who had previously been in the Prisons Service and who had been required to resign for one cause or another. All such Memorials have been carefully considered, and I have seen no sufficient ground for interfering in the decisions arrived at in such cases.