§ Mr. O'LEARY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland on whose instructions the legal representatives of the Crown, at the trial of Patrick O'Brien and William O'Brien at the Cork Assizes on the 23rd instant, ordered eighty special jurors to stand by in order to secure a jury to convict the prisoners, irrespective of the weight of evidence; whether it was on the grounds of religion or politics that these special jurors, comprising the most prominent and respectable citizens of Cork, were deemed by the Crown un-suited to try the charges against the prisoners; if on neither, can he state the grounds on which they were ordered to stand by; and whether it is the intention of the Crown to continue selecting jurors to constitute juries for the trial of criminal and politico-criminal cases in Cork because of the jurors' religious or political bias, and so deprive the prisoners of a fair and impartial trial?
§ Mr. SHORTT
There is no foundation for the allegation that any jurors were ordered to stand by in order to secure a jury to convict irrespective of the weight of evidence. No jurors were ordered to stand by on the ground of either politics or religion. The jurors ordered to stand by were so ordered because there was sufficient reason to believe that owing to liability to be influenced they might not be 49W impartial or owing to bodily or mental infirmity they were unfit to serve as jurors.