The Times, 15 April 1878
   THE FENIAN PRISONERS.—In reply to the memorial for the release of the prisoners confined in Ireland for offences arising out of the Fenian movement, the Chief Secretary for Ireland has addressed the following letter to Mr. O'Connor Power, M.P.:—“Dublin Castle, April 8, 1878—Sir,—With reference to your letter of the 11th ult., and to the resolutions of which a copy was enclosed therein relative to four prisoners confined in Spike Island Convict Prison—namely, Edward O'Kelly, Robert Kelly, James Dillon, and Edward O'Connor—and to your further letter of the 14th ult. on the same subject, I am directed by the Lord-Lieutenant to acquaint you that the cases of Edward O'Connor and Edward O'Kelly will be considered after 15 years from the date of their conviction, and that the case of Robert Kelly will be considered at the expiration of 11 years and five months from the date of his conviction, the above being the periods at which, under the rules of the convict service, they will be eligible for release on license. As regards James Dillon, I have to acquaint you that his case was considered by his Grace to be the month of January last, and that, pursuant to orders then given, it will shortly be again brought under his notice. His Grace has made special inquiry into the allegations made in the newspaper slip forwarded in your letter of the 14th ult. with reference to the treatment of Edward O'Connor, and also into the truth of the statements which have appeared in the public prints relating to the treatment of Robert Kelly and Edward O'Kelly ; and His Grace is satisfied that these allegations are not consistent with the facts. His Grace desires me to state that, as in the cases of the prisoners Clancy and Ahearne, referred to in Mr. Cross's letter to you of the 19th ult., none of these men have ever been looked upon as political prisoners or treated with greater severity than ordinary convicts, nor will they ever be so treated.—I am, Sir, your obedient servant, JAMES LOWTHER.” None of the prisoners referred to were sentenced for treason-felony. Mr. O'Connor Power has had an interview with Clancy during the past week and has been informed that both he and Ahearne will be liberated towards the end of November. By permission of the Home Secretary, Mr. Callan, M.P., has also had an interview with the Manchester prisoners, Melody and O'Meara Condon, confined at Portland for complicity in the murder of Sergeant Brett.
Submitted by dja

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