HC Deb 16 November 1882 vol 274 c1531

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, by Order in Council of 27th July 1882, the Free Force of Royal Irish Constabulary, stationed in the county Tipperary, South Biding, was reduced by one hundred men, the same number being forthwith added to the Auxiliary or Extra Police Force, thus, by a stroke of the pen, throwing an increased burthen of taxation on the district of some £4,000 a year; what was the reason of this sudden change; and, whether the magistrates or ratepayers of the district were consulted as to its propriety?


The Free Force in the South Riding in the County Tipperary was reduced by 100 men by Order in Council of the 27th of July last, and by Warrant, dated August 4, 100 men were appointed as extra force under the Act 6 Will. IV. c. 13, s. 13, thereby increasing the local taxation of the county by a yearly sum not exceeding £3,446 5s. When I say "not exceeding," I am not to be understood as considering the sum a small one. The reason for the change was, that before the re-distribution of the Free Force, made on July 27, the South Riding of Tipperary had 176 men of the Free Force more than its proper proportion, comparing its area and population with other counties and ridings in Ireland. The change cannot be said to have been sudden, as a re-distribution of the Free Force is only possible and legal every fifth year. This quinquennial re-distribution is not a matter for the consideration of the magistrates and ratepayers. It is a question of justice between one county and another, and the loss which Tipperary has suffered is compensated by the gain of other counties which had not their proper proportion before.