HC Deb 14 April 1887 vol 313 cc877-8
MR. BIGGAR (Cavan, W.) (for Mr. J. O'CONNOR) (Tipperary, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is a fact that O'Neill, bailiff at Mitchelstown, was, on the 25th March, fined 10s. by Mr. R. Eaton, R.M., for having assaulted with a pike and inflicted a severe wound on the head of a deaf mute named Looby; whether he is aware that a late Attorney General directed that persons found guilty of this charge should be returned for trial to the Assizes; whether O'Neill rushed through the town of Mitchelstown on the fair day, 25th March, with a naked knife in his hand, and assaulted Mr. W. Casey, and whether Mr. Eaton refused informations to be sworn against O'Neill on that occasion; whether, on 12th March, O'Neill and another bailiff named Davis tried to force themselves into Mr. Casey's shop, who remonstrated with and tried to prevent them from entering, when O'Neill struck Casey with clenched fists; Casey, having retaliated, was summoned to Petty Sessions, and was fined 20s. and costs by Mr. Eaton, who dismissed the cross case against O'Neill; whether Mr. James Skinner was also fined in a similar sum, although he produced several witnesses to prove he had only been looking on; whether Mr. Eaton is an extensive land agent; and, whether he will inquire into the above statements regarding the judgments of Mr. Eaton, Resident Magistrate?


O'Neill was fined 10s. for assaulting Looby during an affray arising from the action of a riotous mob, of which Looby was a member. No evidence was given that any serious injury was inflicted, and the Resident Magistrate dealt with the case as one of common assault. O'Neill himself was badly beaten, and on the occasion in question he received provocation. I am not aware that a late Attorney General directed that the persons found guilty of this charge should be returned for trial to the Assizes, nor do I see how such a general direction could be given, as each case must be dealt with on its merits. O'Neill appeared to have been set upon by a large crowd, and he pulled out his knife, but did not use it. With respect to the other occasion, O'Neill and Davis had been to a house for the purpose of serving a legal process, when Casey and Skinner assaulted the bailiff, for which they were fined 21s., the magistrates expressly stating that they fined them in that amount in order to enable them to appeal if they thought fit. They gave notice of appeal, but subsequently abandoned it. Mr. Eaton does not act as a land agent.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

Is it a fact that O'Neill first struck Casey; and, if so, why was Casey fined and not O'Neill?


As far as I understand, that is not so.

MR. O'HANLON (Cavan, E.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman say that driving into a man's house is a common assault?

[No reply.]