HC Deb 17 May 1871 vol 206 cc915-6

said, that in one of the usual organs of information he was reported to have said, in the course of yesterday's debate, that some of the offi- cers of the Royal Irish Constabulary were poor and chicken-hearted creatures. He wished to give a brief explanation on this subject. His hon. Friend the Member for Cork had spoken of the Irish police being discontented because promotion did not follow upon fair public services. He (Mr. Bagwell) then spoke of the absurd system of appointing officers to the police by a system of competitive literary examination, whereby in an examination of 13 men for, say, three vacancies, the 10 men rejected might be everything that could be desired from their physical and moral qualities, while the successful men, who had been better crammed, might be men of diminutive stature, who could neither ride a horse, nor jump over a ditch, nor hold a prisoner. He could not conceive that the word "chicken-hearted" could have escaped him in speaking of any Irishman. He knew many officers of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and a finer or braver set of Irish gentlemen did not exist on the face of the earth. He begged to say most emphatically that he spoke of the system of competitive examination, and not of the officers of the Royal Constabulary.