HC Deb 12 March 1896 vol 38 cc758-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, (1) whether he can state for what reason the citizens of Sligo, charged at Sligo Assizes with obstructing the street preachers who came to cause disturbances in the streets of Sligo, have been refused the prompt and speedy trial to which they are entitled; (2) whether he is aware that Colonel Cooper, the foreman of the Sligo Grand Jury, protested against the withdrawal of the police from country stations to protect strangers who came to make a "bear garden" of the streets of Sligo; (3) if he will say to what town the venue is to be changed; and (4) will he explain the reason for the change?


The trials in these cases have been postponed in order to give an opportunity for an application to be made to the Queen's Bench Division to change the venue on the ground that owing to the local prejudice and excitement, and especially to the comments in the two local newspapers, the Sligo Champion and the Sligo Independent, a fair and impartial trial could not be obtained in the local venue. I believe the foreman of the Grand Jury did make use of language to the effect stated in the second paragraph, though I am unable to say whether he used the words quoted in this connection. The place to which the venue will be changed is a matter to be decided by the Court of Queen's Bench.