HC Deb 18 March 1887 vol 312 cc726-7
MR. LANE (Cork Co., E.)

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether the Queen's Coroner, presiding in his Court, has power to commit witnesses for contempt, in refusing to answer questions put to them at an inquest; whether the officers and men of the Royal Irish Constabulary, to whom a Coroner's warrant committing a witness for contempt is directed, are bound to execute the same; and, whether an Executive officer is entitled to supersede such warrant, or suspend its execution?


I am asked in this Question for an abstract legal opinion which I have always declined to give, as it can be rarely useful and must be often misleading. If there is brought to my notice any specific instance in which it is alleged constables acted illegally, I shall endeavour to deal with it.

MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Constable Bulmer, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, was committed to gaol by Mr. Coroner Rice, on Wednesday last, for refusing to answer questions tending to discover the person who bayonetted Patrick Hanlon, of Youghal; whether District Inspector Smith, to whom the Coroner handed the warrant for execution, has executed or made any attempt to execute the same; and, what steps the Government intend to take to insure the execution of the Coroner's warrant?

MR. LANE (Cork Co., E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he is aware that the Coroner has made repeated complaints of receiving no assistance in the conduct of the inquest from the police officers at Youghal; whether the District Inspector refused to execute a warrant which the Coroner issued against a policeman for contempt of Court; and, whether he will telegraph orders to the officer in charge of the police at Youghal to render the same assistance to the Coroner in this case as he would give in a case where the suspected culprit was not a member of the Constabulary Force?


I have called for a Report as to the alleged matters of fact set forth in both these Questions; but there has not been time to admit of its receipt.