Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
asked under what circumstances Mr. Michael O'Hartigan has been imprisoned in Armagh Prison; and whether he is sentenced to hard labour?
§ Mr. GULLAND
For creating a disturbance at an auction at Cavan, O'Hartigan was ordered to find bail for his good behaviour. This he refused to do, and in default was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, without hard labour.
§ Mr. VINCENT KENNEDY
asked the Chief Secretary if he will state the reason for the arrest of Mr. O'Hartigan in Cavan on the 10th April after his removal from 1707W an auction room, and when it was therefore no longer possible for him to continue the alleged obstruction of the sale of evicted farms; why the police, instead of bringing the matter before any of the six magistrates then in the town, sent for Mr. Reilly, resident magistrate, four miles distant; whether he is aware that this gentleman, at the instance of the police, refused to adjourn the case to the Petty Sessions two days later, required Mr. O'Hartigan to give bail for good behaviour, and on his refusing sentenced him to two months' imprisonment with hard labour in Armagh gaol, a sentence of which the clerk refused to record the illegal portion; will he state on whose order Mr. O'Hartigan was then illegally conveyed by goods train and in a luggage van to Armagh; whether in the absence of money and of organisation for testing the legality of this imprisonment for claiming evicted farms for evicted tenants in accordance with Statute, those proceedings have been made the subject of any review or consideration; and when the Government intend to give the evicted tenants in question the benefit of the Land Act of 1903 or of the Evicted Tenants Act?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The police authorities inform me that O'Hartigan was arrested for creating a disturbance at an auction at Cavan on the 10th April. He was brought before the resident magistrate in the usual course, and required to give bail for his good behaviour, but this he refused to do, and in default was sentenced to two months' imprisonment without hard labour. The case could not be adjourned as O'Hartigan could not be set free to continue the disturbance. Owing to the coal strike the only train available from Cavan was a goods train, and O'Hartigan was, by order of the District Inspector, conveyed in the guard's van by this train to Clones, where he was transferred to the mail train for Armagh. So far as I am aware there is no ground for questioning the legality of the proceedings. Any claim of the tenants in question will receive proper consideration.