HC Deb 19 June 1902 vol 109 c1120

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the hon. Member for North Leitrim, the hon. Member for North Mayo, the hon. Member for South Mayo, the hon. Member for North Longford, Mr. David Sheehy, formerly a Member of this House, Mr. John Fitzgibbon, and others have been served with civil writs in connection with proceedings for which they have already been sentenced to terms of imprisonment; whether this action has the sanction of the law advisers of the Crown; and whether it is intended to release those defendants at present, in order that they may be enabled to prepare their defence.


I have seen a newspaper report to the effect that civil proceedings have been instituted against the gentleman named. What the precise nature of the action is, I cannot say. The proceedings not having been initiated by or on behalf of the Crown, do not require the sanction of the law officers. The reply to the concluding inquiry is in the negative. Every facility will be given to such of the defendants as may be in custody, to prepare their defence, in accordance with the Prison Rules.


What facilities will be given?


Rule 72 (6) of the Prison Rules recently presented to Parliament, provides as follows— (6) A barrister or solicitor conducting any legal proceedings, civil or criminal, in which a prisoner is a party, or bonâ fide acting as a legal adviser to the prisoner in any legal business, will be allowed to see the prisoner with reference to such business, in the sight but not in the hearing of an officer.