HC Deb 18 July 1918 vol 108 c1211
9. Mr. KING

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Maurice Carmody, charged with attempted murder, retained as his solicitor Mr. J. D. O'Connell, of Tralee, for his defence; that on 29th June, 1918, a military officer visited Mr. O'Connell, and both by promises of reward and by threats attempted to induce Mr. O'Connell to betray the trust imposed in him by M. Carmody; that Mr. O'Connell, in open Court, before Mr. Wynne, R.M., protested against this action; and that the authorities have suppressed, through the censorship, that protest against the rights of his client being thus violated; whether the officer in question was acting in pursuance of instructions from the Irish Government or under authority of any new Defence of the Realm Act Regulation; and what action he proposes to take?


The facts are as stated in the first part of the question. I am informed that no military officer visited O'Connell or in any way attempted to induce him to betray his client's trust. On the occasion of Mr. O'Connell applying for a permit to enter Tralee it was pointed out to him that there would be difficulty in giving him such permits should be continue to associate himself prominently with the Sinn Feiner propaganda.

On the proceedings in Court before the resident magistrate, Mr. O'Connell made the allegations referred to against the military officer, and the military authorities warned the newspapers that such allegations should not be published without reference to the Press Censor. One press telegram, which it was attempted to issue without regard to this warning was stopped at Tralee. The Irish Press Censor exercised no censorship as regards the report of these proceedings. The last part of the question does not, therefore, arise.


In view of the fact that Mr. J. D. O'Connell is a very well known and much respected man, will some inquiry—preferably a public inquiry—be held into these allegations?


I cannot give any undertaking as to a public inquiry being held into this matter.