HC Deb 19 May 1830 vol 24 cc866-8
Mr. O'Connell,

in pursuance of the notice he had given, moved for a Return of the number of Persons who had lost their lives in affrays with the Constabulary force of Ireland or otherwise, since the formation of that body; the times and places at which such affrays happened, and whether the constables on those occasions had any, and what warrants to execute; and also a Return of the number of Policemen tried for Cutting and Maiming, or Killing Persons; the time and place of the trial, and the result in each case. He stated that the object of his Motion was to bring before the House the question of the policy of having a Constabulary Force armed with deadly weapons. In his opinion it was a matter of great importance.

Mr. Doherty

said, that there was no objection on the part of the Government to give the hon. and learned Gentleman the Returns which would effect the object he had in view; and when the question came before the House he should be prepared to give his opinion upon it. It seemed to him that there were some objections to the terms of the Motion, which, as now framed, would not bring the intended question fairly before the House. He therefore proposed that the Returns should be of the persons who had lost their lives, or were wounded, in affrays with the Police since its establishment, distinguishing what inquests had been held, and what were the verdicts on those inquests—what bills of indictment had been framed, and how they had been disposed of; and also a Return of the Constables killed in such affrays within the same period. Such a Return would fairly raise the question. He begged to be permitted to express his deep regret, and that of the Government, for the fatal occurrences which had taken place, and their anxious wish to prevent their recurrence.

Mr. O'Counell

said, that the Returns of men killed in affrays alone would not be sufficient, for several had been shot in endeavouring to escape; and in order to meet those cases he had put in the word "otherwise." For the same reason, it was important to know the nature of the warrants that were to have been executed. As he found the Government were disposed to meet the question fairly, he would, with the permission of the House, withdraw his Motion now, and bring it forward again to-morrow, amended by the suggestions of the hon. and learned Gen- tleman opposite. He should at the same time present some petitions on the subject.

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