§ MR. KENDAL O'BRIEN (Tipperary, Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether eight men, who had been arrested in their beds at two o'clock in the morning, at Holycross, County Tipperary, and charged with riot and unlawful assembly, were then taken to a police barrack and tried before a resident magistrate, no local justice being permitted to take part in the proceedings; whether eighteen men subsequently arrested were tried in the same way, and returned for trial at Cork Winter Assizes without the option of bail; whether it is the practice in other parts of the United Kingdom to exclude the public from trials of this kind and to take the evidence in police barracks before a removable magistrate; and will he state under what law these proceedings have been carried out.
§ MR. BIRRELL
These men have been returned for trial at the Cork Winter Assizes, and I understand that the trial is actually proceeding. In these circumstances it is undesirable to make any statement on the subject.
AN HON. MEMBER
Is it the practice in England or Scotland for people to be taken into private buildings and tried by a magistrate without the option of defending themselves?
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
What is the object of arresting people between two and three in the morning? Why cannot the arrests be made at a reasonable hour?
§ MR. BIRRELL
I have done my best, being myself very much averse to interference with sleep, to get the arrests made at reasonable hours, but I rather gather the difficulty is that of finding these people at home.