HC Deb 05 April 1887 vol 313 cc478-9
MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the report, in The Freeman's Journal of the 30th instant, of the proceedings in the Wood-ford Potty Sessions Court on the 28th instant, of the case of "Egan v. Dwyer," in which the plaintiff, who is a Poor Law Guardian, charged Dwyer, who is under police protection, with, having twice assaulted him with a heavy whip on the public highway, and in the presence of the two policemen who were acting as his body-guard; whether the Bench unanimously, and in strong language, condemned the action of the constables and Dwyer, and fined the latter 40s. and 10s. costs, the Chairman saying he would send him to prison only he was drunk; whether the Government intend to take any, and what, steps with regard to the two policemen inculpated in this case; and, whether they will continue to give a special police guard, at considerable expense to the public, to Dwyer?


I have seen a report of this case. It is true that Dwyer was convicted of having assaulted Egan. The police, however, who were present, positively swore that they did not see him use a whip in the manner stated. It is not a fact that the Bench condemned the action of the constables. I am informed that they made no remark whatever on the subject. Dwyer has been cruelly "Boycotted" for a long time past; and the circumstances of this case would not justify the Government in withdrawing from him the protection which he unfortunately requires.


Was it not admitted in Court that the man was drunk and furiously driving; and, as these are offences known to the law, I ask whether the police were justified in being present and allowing him to do this?


The police, as I have told the hon. Gentleman, did not see him commit this assault. If he means that the police ought to have prevented him being drunk, I do not see how it was in their power.