§ MR. FINUCANE (Limerick, E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether at the eviction of Mr. Edmond O'Grady, of Bally-brood, County Limerick, towards the end of last month, a body of Constabulary under the command of Captain Plunkett, R.M., attacked without previous notice a crowd of people, wounding many seriously; whether the attack took place in a field leading to the house about to be evicted, before the eviction took place, and when the people were perfectly quiet; whether Mr. Joseph Evan, a respectable farmer from Herbertstown, received three dangerous wounds on the head, and, accompanied by Rev. M. Ryan, demanded from Captain Plunkett an opportunity of identifying the policeman who struck him, with a view to a criminal prosecution; and, whether Captain Plunkett refused; and, if so, will the Government order an investigation into his conduct?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
On the occasion of the eviction mentioned a very determined and obstinate resistance was offered to the execution of Her Majesty's writ. In approaching the house the Sheriff and his assistants encountered various obstacles which had been placed in their way, and they were met by a large and disorderly mob, who shouted and groaned, and threw mud at the bailiffs. Captain Plunkett called upon this unlawful assembly to disperse. They refused, and thereupon he ordered a party of police, armed with batons only, to disperse them. This was done, and the eviction was then carried out. I am not aware whether a Mr. Ryan was seriously injured while the mob was being dispersed. Two of the Sheriffs bailiffs were severely wounded by the tenant and his friends. It is true that a request was made to Captain Plunkett to parade the police for identification; but as the men were at the time actually engaged in protecting the Sheriff, this request, of course, could not be complied with. I think Captain Plunkett did his duty, under very difficult circumstances.
1388 In reply to a further Question by Mr. FINUCANE,
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, the party was a small party. They were engaged in protecting the officers of the Crown.