HC Deb 23 October 1899 vol 77 cc499-500
MR. P. A. M'HUGH (Leitrim, N.)

I bog to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that a man named Daniel O'Donnell, of Gortnasillagh, County Leitrim, is at present a prisoner in Sligo Gaol; was the prisoner charged with an offence against any law, was he accorded a trial before imprisonment, when was he imprisoned, and when will he be released; and if O'Donnell was imprisoned without trial, will he direct that a definite charge be preferred against him, so that if he has broken any law he may be subjected to a definite punishment, and that if he has not broken any law, he may be released.


O'Donnell was evicted in January, 1898, for nonpayment of four years' rent which had accrued due in November, 1896. After eviction he retook possession by force, and though frequently requested to leave, he refused to do so. As the estate was administered by the Land Judge's Court, a receiver had been appointed over it, and an application was made to the court on an affidavit setting forth the facts, for an attachment order for contempt of court in retaking possession. The order was granted, and under it O'Donnell was imprisoned on the 30th August last. The responsibility for the issue of the order rests solely with the Land Judge, who alone has power to discharge the prisoner. Powers of committal such as this are exercised by all Chancery Judges in the three kingdoms.