HC Deb 01 September 1887 vol 320 cc719-20
MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR(for Mr. O'HEA) (Donegal, W.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is a fact that the Grand Jury of the County Donegal, at the recent Summer Assizes in Lifford, refused to present the amount submitted to them as the estimated sum required for the conveyance of prisoners, on the ground that a large portion of the expenditure was unnecessary; if part of the expenditure was for "car hire and sundries" in connection with the levying of fines against persona who neglected to take out dog licences; if, in the case of a widow named Catherine Curran, who was unable to pay a small fine for having a little dog unlicensed, Sergeant Mahoney, of Gweedore, accompanied by a constable, brought this poor woman, in very inclement weather, from her cabin to the barracks, a distance of six Irish miles, and after refusing to allow his men at the barrack to subscribe the amount of the fine, took her by car to Letterkenny, a distance of 26 Irish miles, to be kept in Bridewell for 24 hours; whether the same police sergeant charged for a special car to attend the Falcaragh Petty Sessions, 12 miles distant, to prosecute a man named James Sweeny for not registering his dog, and subsequently, because Sweeny through poverty was unable to pay the fine, went to the further expense of hiring a special car to take him in custody to Letterkenny, a distance of nearly 30 Irish miles, to be kept for 48 hours in Bridewell; and, whether it is the intention of the Executive in Ireland to prevent this waste of public money in connection with dog licences?


(who replied) said: The Grand Jury of the County of Donegal at the recent Summer Assizes approved of a less sum than that submitted to them as the estimated expenditure for the conveyance of prisoners during the ensuing half-year. Their ground for doing so was that they considered it an over-estimate, having regard to the actual expenditure during the previous half-year. The part of the expenditure in connection with dog licence cases was extremely small. I have been unable, owing to the short Notice of this Question, to obtain a Report as regards paragraphs 3 and 4, which necessitated a local reference. As regards paragraph 5, the Inspector General of Constabulary reports that it is of rare occurrence that any expense whatever has to be incurred for levying fines in dog licence cases. I may add that the sum submitted to the Grand Jury was £400, and the sum awarded by them was £300.