HC Deb 15 June 1877 vol 234 cc1846-8

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether the name of Constable Moloney, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, has been circulated in a printed document to every constabulary barrack in Ireland as having been dismissed the force for absenting himself when charged with a disgraceful offence; whether the Inspector General of Constabulary has refused to remove his name from this document when so requested; whether, if so, this is the same Constable Moloney who was dismissed the force without trial on the above charge, who subsequently took an action against the Inspector General and was nonsuited on the plea of privilege, and who, eventually, on appeal to the Lord Lieutenant, was reinstated, and his back pay and costs refunded him; and, further, to ask the amount of the legal and other charges connected with the dismissal of Constable Moloney, and from what source they had been, or are to be defrayed?


Sir, the constable referred to is the same person that was dismissed from the Royal Irish Constabulary, and subsequently reinstated in the mode described in the third paragraph of the Question. The statements in the paragraph are, I believe, correct, except that I think the constable was nonsuited in his action against the Inspector General, not exactly on the plea of privilege, but because the Court, without entering on the merits of the case, held that the dismissal was the act of the Lord Lieutenant, and that no action could lie against the Inspector General. It is also true that after the constable was re-instated, although his discharge was cancelled in the official registry at head-quarters, this was inadvertently omitted to be done in one of the printed documents which are periodically circulated to the Constabulary barracks, showing the rewards or punishments of members of the Force. I have made inquiries into the matter, and have informed the Inspector General of Constabulary that, in my opinion, the record of discharge ought also to have been cancelled in this document, and, of course, care will be taken that the omission is not repeated in similar cases for the future. But it is right to add that Moloney, having observed an article on the subject in a Dublin newspaper with which, I believe, the hon. Member is connected, voluntarily stated that he had not been persecuted or held up to odium since his re-instatement, that no member of the Force had accused him or alluded to the charge on which he had been discharged, and that when he made an application to have his discharge cancelled it was granted; and he complained of newspaper allusions to the subject. I scarcely understand the paragraph of the Question relating to the legal and other charges connected with the consta- ble's dismissal. Of course the dismissal of a constable does not entail such charges, and though a Constabulary Court of Inquiry was held on the case before his re-instatement, no legal charges were incurred on behalf of the Constabulary, and the ordinary costs of holding the Court, which would be very small, would be defrayed from the Constabulary Vote.