§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the arrest and imprisonment on 7th March of Martin Brophy, of Maryborough, for non-payment of a vaccination fine; whether 10 armed police took Mr. Brophy to Kilkenny Gaol on 7th March, returning with him the same day to Mountrath police barracks, where he remained the night under armed guard; whether next day Mr. Brophy was taken to Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, with a plain clothes escort of five men; whether Mr. Brophy was put in a cell 7 feet by 12 feet, made to sleep on a plank bed, and fed on prison diet; what was the total cost of this imprisonment to the authorities; and whether, so as not to harass in this way conscientious objectors to vaccination who refuse to pay fines on the ground that Irish objectors have the same right to exemption as that enjoyed by English, Scotch, and Welsh objectors, he will give instructions that no further similar imprisonments are to take place?
§ Mr. HENRY
Brophy was arrested on the 7th March on a warrant for his committal to prison for seven days, for the non-payment of a fine of 10s. and 20s. costs, imposed by Petty Sessions Court at the suit of the Abbeyliex Poor Law Guardians for the non-vaccination of his child. Owing to the numerous cold-blooded assassinations of unarmed police and of police travelling in very small parties, Brophy was taken to Kilkenny Prison by an escort of five armed police in a motor car. As he could not be received in the prison, he was brought back to the police barracks, where he was detained for the night, No guard was posted other than the usual barrack guard, which is main-1318W tained whether or not a prisoner is in custody. On the next day he was taken to Mountjoy Prison as stated. The conditions of his detention there were exactly similar to those of any other prisoner undergoing a sentence of imprisonment. His sentence expired on the 12th March, and he was released on that date. The total cost to the State, including the travelling expenses of prisoner and escort, was approximately £4 10s. There would not appear to be any ground for any action on my part.