HC Deb 28 March 1890 vol 343 cc164-5

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether Mr. M'Dermott, an evicted tenant of the Clanricarde Estate, has now been 11 weeks in prison; and whether, in view of the fact that he has been brought within the past week from Galway Gaol to Ballinasloe, and remanded for the tenth time for refusing to give evidence before a secret inquiry, and that he has on this, as on each previous occasion, offered to answer any questions put to him in open Court, under these circumstances, and considering the severe punishment this gentleman has now boon subjected to, and the cost to the taxpayer involved in these frequent remands, he will now direct that Mr. M'Dermott be released?


This is a matter entirely within the discretion of the magistrate, with whom the Executive cannot interfere.


Considering the utter futility of this proceeding up to the present moment, the great expense involved, and also the fact that Mr. M'Dermott has repeatedly offered to answer any question that may be put to him in open Court, will the right hon. Gentle- man the Chief Secretary exercise the discretion vested in him and order the man's release?


I do not see anything in the argument of the hon. Gentleman that should affect the decision of the Government either one way or the other.