HC Deb 15 May 1916 vol 82 cc1135-6W

asked the Prime Minister if ten men, charged in connection with a riot which occurred at Tullamore on 20th March and on remand in custody of the civil authorities in Tullamore Gaol since that date, have been removed to Richmond Barracks, Dublin, to be dealt with there at a secret tribunal by the military authorities under the powers conferred on them by the Proclamation of martial law for Ireland, dated 28th April, 1916; if the military authorities have the power to make such proclamation retrospective so as to try by court-martial prisoners charged with an offence committed five weeks before Ireland was placed under martial law; and if the prisoners have been refused the right to be defended by their counsel and solicitor who represented them in the preliminary proceedings held under the civil jurisdiction by the resident magistrate at Tullamore, which preliminary proceedings were never concluded?


It is true these ten men have been taken into military custody and will be brought to trial by court-martial under the Defence of the Realm Regulations. This question of jurisdiction will no doubt be raised at the trial, and, as it is in that sensesub judice it would be premature to express an opinion upon it. The point referred to in the last part of the question will also no doubt come up at the trial. I have no information as to whether the prisoners were refused the right to be defended by the counsel and solicitors mentioned.