HC Deb 03 July 1919 vol 117 cc1182-3W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether William Doherty, assistant-instructor in agriculture, Roscommon, who was arrested on 27th February, 1919, and conveyed to Galway Gaol, was court-martialled and sentenced to nine months' imprisonment on a charge of having in his possession for a few hours an old useless revolver; whether any other charges were preferred against him and, if so, what were they; had he any opportunity from February till April of conferring with his father or of obtaining legal assistance; did his father write to the governor of the gaol and did the latter reply; if not, was he instructed not to reply to communications from the parents of prisoners awaiting trial; and is it the intention of the authorities to carry out this sentence, especially as the county council and the agricultural committee thereof have both asked for Doherty's release?


William J. Doherty, of Strokestown, county Roscommon, civilian, was committed to Galway prison on 27th February, 1919, to await trial. He was subsequently tried by a district court-martial held at Galway, and was convicted of the offence, under Section 9 a of the Defence of the Realm Regulations, 1914, of having a firearm, namely, a revolver. He was sentenced to be imprisoned with hard labour for the term of nine months commencing on 2nd April, 1919. No other charges were preferred against him. He had all the facilities afforded to untried prisoners of obtaining legal assistance, but did not avail himself of them while awaiting trial. His father wrote to the governor on 4th May, 1919, drawing attention to the prisoner's health, This letter was referred to the medical officer, who decided that it did not call for any action. It was not replied to by the governor for the same reason. An application for the release of this prisoner has been received and is under consideration.