HC Deb 28 March 1887 vol 312 cc1609-10
MR. M'CARTAN(for Mr. O'DOHERTY) (Donegal, N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the information before, and the evidence at, the trial of Hannah O'Donnell, at Lifford Assizes, for alleged forcible entry, and the informations in several similar cases, disclose the fact that the police entered the houses of the defendants, interrogated the inmates, asked them to quit, and that, for over a month, they had been watching the houses from which these defendants had been evicted; whether the houses were for most of that time lying open; whether any bailiff or other person, on behalf of the landlord, was in possession, or watching the houses; whether anything was done from the day of the eviction by the landlord to secure the possession; whether the houses were built by the tenants; whether their time for redemption, after eviction, had expired; whether the police receive any remuneration for their services from the landlord in such cases; whether Sergeant Mahony was directed by the Lord Chief Baron to say if he had a Circular of Instructions for doing as above, and whether he claimed privilege for not producing it through claiming that he acted under a Circular issued several years before; and, whether he will call for further explanations as to this case?


From the reports submitted, to me, it appears that the police entered the house referred to, spoke to the persons whom they found trespassing there and requested them to leave. The period of redemption had not expired at the time. The police did not specially watch these houses, but acted as above mentioned, when passing through the locality in the ordinary discharge of their duty. They do not act as bailiffs, or receive any remuneration from landlords for any such services. Sergeant Mahony was not directed by the Judge to say if he had a Circular of Instructions; but he stated, in cross-examination, that he acted under a Circular issued some years ago, for the non-production of which he claimed privilege. As I have already intimated, the purport of that Circular was not correctly stated in the newspaper report recently quoted by the hon. Member.