HC Deb 19 March 1896 vol 38 cc1350-1
MR. D. MACALEESE (Monaghan, N.)

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, if any date has been fixed for the trial of Patrick M'Quaide, for some time past and still a prisoner in Dundalk Jail; what was the specific charge upon which M'Quaide was arrested; are witnesses procurable to sustain that charge; and if so, does any special reason exist for denying to this man the common right of speedy trial; is he aware that M'Quaide's wife and six children are reduced to a condition of great distress; and will he undertake to have this man arraigned without further unavoidable delay?


This question appears to be based on a misconception of the facts. M'Quaide, who had been evicted from his farm, over which a Receiver had been appointed, was at the instance of the latter summoned before the Receiver Judge for interfering with the possession of the Receiver by trespassing upon and cutting the grass growing upon the evicted holding. M'Quaide failed to appear to the summons to justify or excuse his conduct, and was by the Receiver Judge committed to prison for contempt of court in interfering with the court's officer. The hon. Member will, therefore, see that this is a matter between M'Quaide and the Receiver Judge, and that there can be no arraignment or trial of M'Quaide at the instance of the Executive, who, as the hon. Member has already been informed, are entirely irresponsible for the proceedings in the case. M'Quaide's wife and children are not, so I am informed by the local police, in a state of destitution, as alleged in the Question.