HC Deb 30 May 1916 vol 82 c2535

asked the Under-Secretary for War if he will state the number and nature of the wounds which James Connolly when he surrendered was found to have sustained; whether the military authorities first decided that he should not be tried until his wounds were healed; whether on the surgeon reporting that Mr. Connolly was dying of his wounds they tried him; whether, being too ill to walk to or stand for his execution, he had to be carried on a stretcher to the place of execution, propped up in a chair there, and shot in that condition; and if he will give the date and place of any precedent for the summary execution of a military prisoner dying of his wounds?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Tennant)

The medical authorities were consulted before the trial of James Connolly took place, and they certified that he was in a fit state to undergo his trial. He was wounded just above the instep, and although he was unable to walk there was no reason why in the interests of humanity the execution should have been delayed. The House will thus see that the hon. Member's question is characterised by the inaccuracy and exaggeration to which the House is becoming accustomed.


Will the right hon. Gentleman answer two clauses of the question—was this man certified to be dying of his wounds when put on his trial, and what is the precedent for the summary execution of a dying man?


I have already said that the medical authorities certified he was in a fit state to undergo his trial, therefore the other question does not arise.