HC Deb 25 August 1887 vol 319 cc1812-3
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he would state what authority there is for the statement that upon the occasion on which Head Constable Horgan, of Kanturk, and other constables forced their way into the private grounds of Father Collins, that it was intended to hold a public meeting there; what authority is there for the statement that some people present carried pitchforks; if he is aware that, on the occasion in question, the reverend gentleman, whilst protesting against the entrance of the constables into his private grounds, offered to conduct them to a spot outside those grounds, but within a few yards distance, from whence they could hear and see any proceedings which might take place, but the Head Constable refused the offer, and insisted upon entrance; and, whether, in view of all these circumstances, he will grant a local inquiry into the conduct of the policemen?


(who replied) said, the statements alluded to were made on the authority of the Divisional Magistrate after full investigation. A turbulent crowd proceeded to the place of meeting, and the Rev. Mr. Collins asked the police to stay outside the grounds; but the police constables preferred to go inside the grounds, believing that a meeting was to be held.


If I can assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman that no meeting was about to be held, and if I can assure him that the crowd was not turbulent, will he look into the matter?


I have already told the hon. Gentleman that we have made an inquiry, and what the result of the inquiry is.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

; I wish to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman if the whole affiair was not this—that the Member for the Division accepted an invitation to dine with the parish priest, and the town band played him to the parish priest's house; and what right the police had, under such circumstances, to intrude themselves on private premises without a warrant?


It is perfectly plain that the police on the spot did not adopt that view.


Had they a warrant?


Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the Member for the Division—that is myself—asked the Head Constable if he had a warrant, and, under the circumstances, what authority he had to intrude on private premises; and, furthermore, if the Head Constable was asked by myself on the occasion what information he had that any meeting whatever was going to be held on the night in question?


said, he could not answer as to the conversation between the hon. Member and the Head Constable. But a warrant was not necessary.


On account of the unsatisfactory answer of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I beg to give Notice that I will call full attention to the matter when the Estimates come to be discussed.