HC Deb 09 March 1882 vol 267 cc462-3

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether the finding which the coroner's jury came to at Ballyragget that the two sub-inspectors of Constabulary in command of the police, who, without necessity or lawful excuse in the judgment of the jurors, gave the order to the police to charge with fixed bayonets, were guilty of the wilful murder of James Mansfield, who died from the effects of a bayonet wound inflicted on him on the 9th of October, has been quashed by the Court of Queen's Bench in Ireland on technical grounds; whether the Executive Government sent large bodies of military and police into Ballyragget on that 9th of October, and no magistrate accompanied or was in command of those military or police; and, has any inquiry been directed into the conduct of the sub-inspector, and the circumstances under which Mansfield thus lost his life; and, if not, is it the intention of the Government to have an investigation held?


Sir, as to the first Question of the hon. Member, this inquisition has been quashed by the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in Ireland on the ground of the misconduct of the Coroner and jury. As to the second and third Questions of the hon. Member, a considerable civil and military force was sent to Ballyragget, on the 9th of October last, to preserve the peace on the occasion of a Land League meeting. There was no magistrate there; but all passed off quietly, and the force proceeded to the railway station to return by train to their quarters. The police were followed, and, without any provocation, were savagely attacked, and stoned by a riotous mob, and to save themselves they were obliged to charge and drive back the mob. The Government is in full possession of all the circumstances, and further investigation is not contemplated.