HC Deb 18 July 1844 vol 76 cc1008-10
Mr. Wyse

, seeing the right hon. the Secretary for War opposite, begged to ask him the question, of which he had given him notice some days since. He (Mr. Wyse) had noticed in a late publication of the Dublin Evening Post, the following particulars of a circumstance which was stated to have taken place within the precincts of Her Majesty's Castle of Dublin. He begged to be permitted to read the statement to the House: A case of an important nature was investigated at this office on yesterday. It appears that a young man named James Osberry, the driver of a back car, was taken up in the street by a lady, who told him to drive her to the Lower Castleyard. He proceeded to the place named, and when about to enter the gate the sentry held up his hand and called on him to stop. The young man did so, and then the soldier asked him, 'Have you a repeal button on your coat?' 'No,' replied Osberry, 'I have not.' The lady told the sentry that he had no right to stop the man; and added that she was the wife of a soldier, and ought not to be stopped. The sentry told the man to go on, when Sergeant R. Cassen, of the 24th Regiment, came up and said, 'Have you a repeal button on your coat?' 'No,' said Osberry, putting his hand to his breast 'don't you see I have not.' 'Have you one at all about you?' inquired the sergeant. 'I have one in my pocket,' replied the young man; 'I won't conceal that, as I don't want to tell you a lie.' 'Seize him, guard,' said the sergeant, and at once the young man was taken into custody by a file, and brought to Chancery lane station-house, where the following charge was entered against him:—'For forcing his way past the sentry, and for abusing the sergeant at the Lower Castlegate.' The charge having been entered, the prisoner was taken in custody of a policeman and a soldier, with a fixed bayonet, before the magistrates of Exchange-court police-court. The case was argued by Mr. Walsh, and after the facts had been stated in evidence, the magistrates came to an unanimous opinion that the prisoner had not been guilty of any offence, and at once discharged him. Now, in consequence of this, and of another circumstance of a somewhat similar nature which had occurred still more recently, in the barracks of Dublin, in the instance of a man of the name of Ignatius Ennis, who, on his appearing in the court yard, had been seized and a button of the same description torn from his coat, he was induced to ask the right hon. Secretary—whether any and what orders had been given from the Horse Guards, or by the Commander-in-Chief in Dublin, with respect to persons wearing or having in their possession Repeal buttons, and appearing in barracks or within the precincts of the Castle?

Sir T. Fremantle

had to state that he was not aware that orders against wearing Repeal buttons had been issued, in reference to Dublin Castle; but orders had been issued precluding any civilian, wearing political or party badges, from being admitted into any of the barracks in Ireland. As to the circumstances of the case to which the right hon. Gentleman had alluded, he had not been able to obtain precise information. He had every reason to believe that the order with reference to the barracks was strictly legal; but if any persons acting under it exceeded their duty, they would be responsible for so doing; and he believed that there was every disposition on the part of the proper authorities to enforce this responsibility. The sergeant in the first case alluded to was, as he understood, threatened with an action for false imprisonment, and the officer was also summoned to appear before a competent tribunal.