§ MR. FLYNN
I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland whether his attention has been called to the proceedings at the last Winter Assizes held in Cork, when on the trial of four men, Thomas and John Culligan, John Hannahan, and John Riddan, who were charged with wounding Daniel Ryan, near Crusheen, county Clare, not less than 29 gentlemen of the jury panel were ordered to stand by; and, was this proceeding on the part of the Crown Prosecutor adopted with the sanction of the Attorney-General; and, if so, what reason is put forward for challenging this large number of jurors?
§ MR. ATKINSON
The prisoners mentioned were tried twice. On the first trial the jury disagreed. On the second 677 trial 28 jurors, not 29, were ordered to stand aside; this included several jurors who had served on the first jury. In addition, there was every reason to believe that jurors had been extensively canvassed in this and other cases from the county Clare. The Crown Solicitor, in setting aside the jurors, acted in conformity with the directions contained in the Circular of February, 1894, addressed by the late Government to Crown Solicitors, issued by the late Government. No special instructions were issued by me in the matter. The jurors were set aside because the Crown Solicitor had reason to believe that, if sworn, they would not be likely to give an impartial verdict.
§ [No reply.]
Will the right honourable Gentleman state the reasons for believing that these men were not capable of giving an impartial verdict if sworn to do so? Does he know of any case in England where 29 jurors have been ordered to stand aside?
§ MR. W. REDMOND
Is the right honourable Gentleman aware that the ordering of a large number of jurors to stand aside causes a widespread belief amongst the people that justice is not done?
§ DR. TANNER
The right honourable Gentleman has not given us the reason for challenging this large number of jurors.
§ [No reply.]