HC Deb 26 July 1897 vol 51 cc1080-1
MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland (1) whether his attention has been called to the proceedings at the Cork Summer Assizes in connection with the trial of James Magner and six respectable men of the farming class upon a charge of unlawful assembly; (2) whether he can state under what statute the prisoners were indicted; (3) is he aware that out of the number of jurors whose names were called 25 were ordered to "stand by" by the Crown prosecutor, and will he state by whose direction this was done; and (4) is it the intention of the Crown authorities to continue the existing jury system in Ireland?


My attention has been called to the case referred to. The indictment was brought under the Common Law, not under Statute. The statement in the third paragraph as to the number of jurors ordered by the Crown to stand by in this case is correct. The Crown Solicitor, in setting aside the jurors, acted on the Circular of February I894, addressed by the late Government to Crown Solicitors, without any special instruction. The fact that the Crown Solicitor had information, which there is every reason to believe was accurate, that the system of canvassing the jurors had in the interest of the accused been largely resorted to, rendered the course pursued essential for the due administration of justice. The Irish Government will continue to carry out the directions contained in circular of the late Government.


asked whether the right hon. and learned Gent leman was aware that since the issue of that circular, the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth had condemned this practice as most injurious?


I was not aware of that, nor am I aware that the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth has any practical experience of the details of the administration of justice in Ireland.


Will the right lam. and learned Gentleman use his influence with the Chief Secretary to afford an opportunity of discussing this question when the Law Estimates for Ireland are under consideration?

[No answer was given].