§ MR. SHEEHAN (Kerry, E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieu- 667 tenant of Ireland, Whether he is aware that, on the 22nd April, in the division of Coom and Headford, county Kerry, two parties of police under command of two head constables accompanied the sheriff on eviction duty and for seizure for rent; whether a policeman named Mahony assaulted a woman with his rifle, and kicked and otherwise ill-treated her while down; and, if a man in the employment of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, whose only offence was keeping his cattle aside, got knocked down and had to get medical aid for ten days; whether Mahony is a native of Knocknagree, county Cork, adjacent to district in which seizures were made; and, if so, whether his removal to a more distant district would not be in accordance with the spirit of the police rules; and, if, in the interest of justice (twenty-two persons being injured), an independent inquiry should be held into the circumstances, there being no responsible officer in charge of about twenty policemen, who acted on that occasion without orders?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
On the date in question a force of 26 police, in charge of a Head Constable, was engaged in protecting sheriffs' bailiffs who made seizures for rent. There was considerable excitement, and an attempt was made to rescue the seizures. It is not the case that Constable Mahony assaulted a woman with his rifle. The constable was not armed with a rifle, and the police are not aware that any woman was assaulted on the occasion. A man who is not in the employment of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, but who happened to be planting potatoes for one of their stationmasters that day, joined the mob, and received some injuries, when, eventually, the police were obliged to charge, for which he has since been under medical treatment. Constable Mahony is a native of Knocknagree, county Cork, which is near the district where the seizures were made; but he belongs to the County Kerry Force, and there is nothing in the Regulations requiring his removal to another county. As I have explained, the police were in charge of a Head Constable, an officer who ranks next to a District Inspector. 668 There do not appear to be any grounds for an inquiry.