HC Deb 26 March 1885 vol 296 cc665-6

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been directed to the appeal case of Levingston, Appellant, v. Murphy, Doyle and Tobin, Respondents, recently tried before Chief Justice Morris at the Carlow Assizes, where the conduct of Sergeant Delaney, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, was strongly condemned by the Chief Justice, who in summing up said— That it is lamentable that such a course should have been pursued injustice as was pursued in this case. Certainly the course adopted was an extravagant one, a most extravagant one. Two of these men, Doyle and Tobin, were arrested late in the evening, and Murphy was taken out of his bed in the middle of the night by the orders of this over zealous and active Sergeant Delaney, who appeared to have acted in this case in a most extraordinary and extravagant manner. Instead of inquiring into the case, he said he never knew there was a right of way. Instead of inquiring or finding out whether there was a disputed right of way, and seeing whether it was a case for a summons, and not for arrest, he went and acted as if some desperate act of violence had been committed in the neighbourhood, and arrested these persons without any information at all, arrested them after the Petty Sessions clerk had refused to give him a warrant, and cautioned him against arresting them. He arrested them on his own responsibility. He showed himself over zealous, and to a degree improperly so, and inveigled this Levingston, to a certain extent, into the transaction." "Then he brought Levingston in before the Petty Sessions clerk, and when the case was heard at Petty Sessions, instead of Levingston appearing as complainant, the most extraordinary part of it all, Sergeant Delaney obtrudes himself into the position of complainant. If Levingston had refused to make the information, or if he had nothing to say to it at all, he would have been entitled to a verdict, because if a police constable chose to arrest persons Levingston cannot be made liable for that. Mr. Croker swore that it was stated in the presence of Delaney that there was a right of way. Delaney suggested to this easy going magistrate that it would be better for the men to go to gaol for a few days, that it would not do them any harm. It was most extraordinary; and, what steps the authorities intend to take against Sergeant Delaney for the conduct described, by Chief Justice Morris?


The Inspector General of Constabulary has this matter under consideration; but he is not yet in a position to announce what action he thinks should be taken in it.