The Argus at KellyGang 17/4/1879

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Mr Graves, M L A , introduced to the Acting Chief Secretary yesterday a deputation of persons interested in the men now in Beechworth gaol on the charge of aiding and abetting the Kellys. The names of the deputation were Messrs Powell of Samaria , O'Keefe, of Wangaratta, Higgins, of Glenrowan , and Kennedy and M'Acluffe, of Greta.

Mr GRAVES explained that the object was to obtain relief for the persons known as the Kelly sympathisers, who had now been in gaol three months, without any direct evidence against them, and who were remanded from time to time, on the ground that evidence was forthcoming. The deputation wished especially to direct attention to the case of the prisoner Francis Hearty. He was a farmer with a wife and four children dependent upon him, and everything was going to ruin. It was asked that these men should now be either put on their trial or discharged. Families were being reduced to beggary in consequence of the long incarceration of their bread-winners. He had a letter to present to Sir Bryan O'Loghlen from Mrs Cook, the mother of the man Strickland, whose case was worthy of consideration.

Mr KENNEDY said he had known Hearty for many years, and during the whole time he had borne an excellent character. Being a next door neighbour of the Kellys, he was naturally friendly with them. The police were against Hearty because he had given evidence for the defence when Mrs Kelly and Scilian were tried, and had stated that Scillan was in his (Hearty's) house when Constable Fitzpatrick was assaulted. If liberated, Hearty would leave the district.

Sir BRYAN O'LOGHLEN remarked that the circumstances of the case were peculiar, and that it was necessary to proceed with caution.

As to Hearty's case, he was in possession of information which it had not been deemed prudent to disclose in court. However he would request the chief commissioner of police to furnish him with a full report, and he would take into consideration anything which seemed to be favourable to the prisoners. If favourable reports in the cases of Hearty and Strickland were received, he would have both men placed on their trial.

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