HC Deb 17 August 1901 vol 99 cc1303-4
MR. DONAL SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)

On behalf of the hon. Member for North Louth, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, although Sir Robert Paul is the resident magistrate for the southern portion of county Wexford, Mr. Albert Meldon, R.M., who lives at Bray, county Wicklow, visited the town of Wexford on Monday, and having seen the Sessional Crown Solicitor, signed warrants for the arrest of ten farmers, near Camolin, who were arrested after 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning charged with demolishing a preacher's hut at Camolin on 21st June; is he aware that Mr. Meldon, R.M., held a special court at Gorey to try the prisoners, and on whose authority the Crown Solicitor prosecuted them without allowing them time to obtain legal assistance, not withstanding that they, nearly two months before, were tried on the same charge at Ferns Petty Sessions, when informations were refused by the local justices; will he explain why these men were arraigned before the stipendiary magistrate instead of by summons, and is he aware that the stipendiary refused a longer adjournment than to Friday, although the prisoners were without legal advice, and is it the intention of the Crown to depart from the ordinary practice of not trying bailed prisoners at next winter assizes.


I have not the full information necessary for a proper answer to this question. The Bench, I believe, was equally divided, and the usual course was taken under those circumstances. Sir Robert Paul, having sat on the Bench in the first instance, said he preferred some other resident magistrate to take the matter up.