§ 17. Mr. HARTSHORN
asked he Chief Secretary for Ireland on what charge, and on what evidence, Mr. John O'Sheehan, Roscommon, was court-martialled in September and sentenced to two years' imprisonment; where he is at present confined; and whether he is undergoing hospital treatment?
The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Henry)
Mr. John O'Sheehan was charged before a court-martial under Regulation 27 of the Defence of the Realm 2185 Regulations with singing to an audience at Carrigeenroe, county Roscommon, on 3rd July, 1918, a song entitled, "The Felons of Our Land," likely to cause disaffection to His Majesty. He was also charged under Regulation 42 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations with doing an act likely to cause disaffection among the civilian population by taking part in a concert held at the same place, at which songs and recitations likely to cause disaffection were given, including "The Soldier's Song," and "The Felons of Our Land." He was convicted on both these charges and had previously been convicted on two occasions (1) of carrying a revolver without a permit, and (2) obstructing the police in the discharge of their duty. The evidence given was that of two constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary who attended the concert. Up to the 29th May he was confined in Belfast Prison, where he was treated in the prison hospital, but was released on that date on the ground of ill-health.
§ Mr. CLYNES
May I ask whether this song is not one of the old, popular, patriotic Irish songs, and whether the prosecution in this case has not had the effect of making the song more popular than ever?
I am not aware as to the books in which the song is published, and I am not aware that it is popular.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Can the hon. Gentleman state whether there is any Regulation stopping amateur singing in this country?
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
Can the hon. Gentleman explain why the Chief Secretary denied in this House that the prosecution took place?