HC Deb 01 June 1883 vol 279 cc1481-2

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If, at a sworn inquiry held at Moville, county Donegal, on May 11th 1883, certain grave charges were proved against Sub-Inspector Smith, of Moville, and, amongst others, that Mr. Smith made a false and damaging report against Constable Magill, a man who did not serve under him, and if the said report is filed at county head quarters, Letter-kenny, to the prejudice of Constable Magill; if it is a fact that, at an inquiry at Moville, it was alleged that Sub-Inspector Smith endeavoured to induce a member of the police force serving under him to foully insult the Rev. Mr. M'Gluichy, the Roman Catholic curate of the parish; if it is true that evidence sufficient has from time to time been given to establish that the general conduct of Sub-Inspector Smith is disgraceful; and, whether, under these circumstances, he will be at once dismissed the force?


Sir, there was no charge made at the sworn inquiry at Moville against Sub-Inspector Smith in connection with the case of Constable Magill. I have already stated, in reply to a former Question, that the charges which were preferred against the Sub-Inspector and investigated at that inquiry were anonymous, but were inquired into at his request. The judgment of the Court was that they were wholly untrue, or gross distortions of matters which, to their minds, were most satisfactorily explained. I should hope the hon. Member will see the impropriety of giving the publicity afforded by the Notice Paper of the House of Commons to charges against public servants for which there is no primâ facie case whatever. Here is the name of an excellent and trustworthy servant of the Crown coupled with the epithets of foul and disgraceful on no authority whatever, except that of some anonymous letters.


I would ask the Chief Secretary whether this investigation into the charges made against Sub-Inspector Smith was a public one; and whether it is not a fact that the gentleman who presided at it was Mr. Smith's own County Inspector, assisted by a district Sub-Inspector, who was a friend of the accused official? As the charges against Sub-Inspector Smith involve matters of the utmost gravity, amounting to scandalous and disgraceful conduct, I will move for a Return of the evidence produced at the investigation, in order that it may be laid on the Table of the House.