§ MR. MACALEESE
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that at a recent Petty Sessions Court in Monaghan two men named M'Guigan and Hughes were convicted of a police offence and sent to Armagh Gaol for nine months and five months respectively, and that several magistrates, not in the habit of attending the Monaghan Petty Sessions, appeared on the bench on this occasion and adjudicated upon the trial of these men; is he aware that, after being placed in Armagh Gaol, M'Guigan and Hughes lodged an appeal against their conviction and sentence, and gave the necessary bail for its prosecution; and that when they appeared at the Monaghan Quarter Sessions, the County Court Judge, at the instance of the Crown, refused them the right of appeal, and sent them back to gaol to complete their sentence; and will he either secure that these men be granted the right of appeal, or take steps to have their punishment reduced.
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
I am informed that all the justices who attended the Monaghan Petty Sessions at which the convictions mentioned in the first paragraph were obtained, are in the habit of attending the sessions, except one gentleman who was present for the first time since his appointment to the Commission a few days previously. Under the Petty Sessions Act, an appellant is bound to give seven days notice of his intention to appeal, but this the defendants in the present case failed to do, giving only three days notice, and the Judge held that the appeal was not properly before him. If the defendants feel aggrieved by the decision of the Judge, it is open to them to have that decision reviewed by the Court of Queen's Bench.