HC Deb 23 March 1885 vol 296 cc219-20

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether District Inspector Davis, R.I.O. Castleisland, swore, at the inquest on the body of Denis Murphy, that from the first he did not believe the case was one of outrage, but that the shot had been fired from a constable's rifle; and, if so, why he reported the case to the county inspector as being one of outrage, why he made an affidavit to procure the arrest of innocent men, and why he caused the remand of those men in custody; whether both the constables concerned persisted for some time in denying that they had been in Murphy's house that night; whether the notes of evidence at the coroner's inquest will be laid upon the Table; whether his attention has been called to the remarks of the Lord Chief Baron, at Tralee, on the 13th inst., in his charge to the Grand Jury of Kerry, who declared that, apart from the question whether Murphy was wounded by accident, there could be no doubt that a very grave crime against the administration of justice had been committed; that there is nothing more calculated to shake confidence in the administration of justice than that members of the Constabulary force should lend themselves to what had been done in that melancholy case; and that he regretted, and deemed it unfortunate, that no bill had been presented to the Grand Jury in reference to the matter, so that the most searching investigation should be given to what appeared to him to be the very grievous misdemeanor of endeavouring to defeat, delay, or impede the administration of justice; why the Crown did not present to the Kerry Grand Jury a bill in respect of this offence; and, what will now be done in the ease?


District Inspector Davis did not swear at the inquest that, from the first, he did not believe the case was one of outrage. He stated that the surroundings did not strike him as being those of a genuine outrage. From the report of the constables, which was positive and unequivocal, he, in the discharge of his duty, reported to the County Inspector the case as communicated to him. He afterwards, from personal examination, satisfied himself that the case was not one of outrage. He did not make an affidavit to procure an arrest, nor did he cause any remand. The arrest was made by constables in his absence, and the remand was on their information. The constables did, for some time, persist in denying that they had been in Murphy's house, and this was one of the reasons for their dismissal. There is no objection to lay upon the Table the notes of the evidence at the inquest. The Lord Chief Baron did express himself to the effect stated. The charge of manslaughter was only dismissed on the 10th of March, and there was not then time to present a further charge to the Grand Jury at Tralee. A prosecution of another kind will now be instituted.