HC Deb 17 July 1882 vol 272 cc699-700

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, on the night of the 5th instant, Constable Hughes, of the Bookeen Station, county Galway, arrested, in their homes, and took from their beds, eleven men, heads of families, in the parish of Kiltulla, refused them sufficient time to dress, handcuffed them, and took them, in drenching rain, to Loughrea, a distance of seven miles, not having informed any of the men of the charge to be made against them; whether, on reaching Loughrea, about 6 a.m., the eleven men, drenched to the skin, and suffering much from cold and hunger, were placed in the "black hole" of the police station, a cell 3ft. 9in. by 8 feet, filled with a sickening stench, and having only one small aperture to afford a supply of air; whether the eleven men were kept in this -cell from 6 a.m. till half-past nine, standing crushed together for want of space; and whether the constable on guard refused to give a drink of water, or to allow any of them to quit the cell for a moment, although one of them, Martin Huban, suffering from congestion of the lungs, fainted for want of air, had to be held up to the aperture by his fellow prisoners to enable him to breathe; whether, at 9.45 a.m. the men, handcuffed in pairs, were taken from the station to the courthouse, all placed in the same lock-up, about 5 ft. by 7 ft., and there kept till 1 p.m. and whether food and drink were still refused by the police, and the men were kept fasting until they were brought into the courthouse, when the clerk of the court allowed them to buy some bread and butter; what wore the terms of the charges preferred against the prisoners, and upon what evidence they rested, and whether the presiding magistrate accepted bails, and upon representations made by the parish priest of Kiltulla as to the respectability of the prisoners, his parishioners, reduced the amount of the bails at first required by one-half; and, by what action or observation he proposes to mark the sense of the Executive with regard to the treatment of those men, still in the hands of the police?


, in reply, said, there was no truth in the facts asserted. No one had fainted, water was supplied, and the men had been put up for better custody in the ordinary barrack lock-up.