HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc193-4
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been drawn to a report in The Cork Examiner of Tuesday the 8th ultimo, as to the conduct of the constabulary in the streets of Macroom on last Sunday evening the 6th March, which stated that on Sunday evening, when the Cork Forces were on their way to the station, they were preceded by a dozen policemen with drawn batons, who first jostled and then indiscriminately batoned the people; that Mr. Smith, District Inspector, on returning from the station, as if in reply to one of his men, was heard to say, "Sweep the devils down," when another policeman then said," Wait till they come from prayers:" that a man, named John Murphy, of Massytown, was felled to the ground by the blow of a baton, and had his head cut open; that the city police, who wear numbers on their collars, turned up the collars of their overcoats to avoid detection in their assaults on the people; that a young man, named Cotter, when knocked down, was brutally kicked while on the ground by the policemen, because he did not immediately get up when ordered, he being insensible; that Constable John Neill, of Macroom, followed a young girl off the street into a house, beating her on the staircase, and would have dragged her into the street to more justifiably beat her, but was prevented by the owner of the house; whether this report is true; and, whether the Government will order an investigation into the conduct of District Inspector Smith, and the police under his command, on the occasion in question?


It appears that the police, while on the way to the station, were stoned by the mob and had then to use their batons, and that John Murphy, who was a member of the crowd, received a blow on the head. All the other allegations in the Question appear to be untrue, and the Government see no reason to order an investigation.


Is the right hon. Gentleman certain about Constable John Neill not beating this girl?


I am informed, Sir, that the statement is untrue.