|THE GOVERNMENT AND THE FENIAN PRISONERS.Last night, Mr. O'Connor Power, M.P., presiding over a meeting of the Political Prisoners Visiting Committee communicated the following letter from the Home Secretary, on the question of the liberation of the four prisoners undergoing sentences in English prisons for offences connected with the Fenian conspiracy.Whitehall, March 19. Sir,With reference to your letter of the 11th inst., and the resolution enclosed in relating to four prisoners confined in English prisons, mentioning therein, Edward O'Meara Condon, Patrick Melody, Thomas Ahearne, and James Clarey [sic], I am directed by Mr. Secretary Cross to inform you that he can only repeat what he said last year in the House of Commons, as to Condon and Melodyviz., that their cases will be considered at the expiration of 15 years, from the date of their convictions. With regard to Clarey and Ahearne, whose cases stand on a different footing, Mr. Cross is disposed to take that course at an earlier period. He must however add that none of these men have been looked upon as political prisoners, nor been treated with greater severity than ordinary convicts, nor will they ever be so treated. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, H. F. O. LIDDELL. To O'Connor Power, Esq., M. P. That letter the hon. gentlemen said, he thought a horrible statement, and considering the representations made to the Home Secretary in the cases of the Manchester prisoners, he could not understand the reasons for the merciless decision. Every argument has been used, and when it was stated by the Attorney-General in the House of Commons that no men were executed except for deliberate murder, it was shown that three men had been executed for the death of Sergeant Brett, that seven had undergone penal servitude for five years, and that two Messrs. O'Meara Condon and melody were undergoing a life sentence for an offence which was in no sense deliberate. The promise made respecting the other two was the same as that made last year in Mr. Davitt's case, so that they might expect the liberation of Messrs. Clarey and Ahearne in the autumn. Mr. Power having counselled the committee to use their best efforts to bring direct pressure on the Government, announced that as yet no reply had been given by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to the memorials in favour of the four men confined in Irish prisons.|
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