HC Deb 06 September 1887 vol 320 cc1362-3
MR. HARRIS (Galway, E.)

I wish to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he can give any information as to the truth or falsehood of the statement in The Daily News of this day, as to the outrage by a constable on Mr. Lewis Ward. The statement is: — A despatch from Ballinasloe states that, on Saturday night, a man named Patrick Barratt was being conveyed to the train en route for Galway, bail having been refused in his case, and a large crowd of the leading inhabitants of the town assembled to escort the prisoner to the station. Barratt a short time ago was evicted. On the departure of the train loud cheers were given for Barratt and the Plan of Campaign, and this appeared to provoke the police, who proceeded to baton every person on the railway platform indiscriminately. The police, in passing through the town subsequently, were hooted by the crowd who had assembled in the streets. Mr. Lewis Ward, a son of Mr. Lewis Ward, builder and contractor, was set upon by Constable Nolan, and his skull was fractured, and his ear almost severed from his head. The young gentleman was borne to his father's house in an insensible condition, and he has had to be left downstairs, as the doctor advised his friends that his removal upstairs might prove fatal. The constable ran away after perpetrating this outrage; but was identified by Mr. Harris, jun. Several gentlemen witnessed the assault, including Messrs. J. S. Smith and Knox, of the National Bank, and Mr. R. F. Walker of The Western News. Mr. Ward, who is in a most precarious condition, is under the care of Dr. Delahunt, who is in constant attendance upon him. Can the right hon. Gentleman give me any information as to this statement? The parties concerned are friends of mine, and I shall be very glad to receive any information.


I am afraid I have no information to give the hon. Gentleman. He only gave me his Notice as I was entering the House. I have heard nothing of the matter; but if he will put a Notice on the Paper I will inquire about it.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give me the information to- morrow, or will he be likely to have it?


I may be able, but I cannot guarantee it.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, considering the gravity of this case and also the number of these unprovoked attacks by the police at evictions, and other incidents, and what may happen during the winter, whether he will consider the necessity of issuing instructions to the police to abstain from violence, except in cases where actual violence or obstruction is offered?


I have no reason to believe that the police have used violence, except in cases in which actual violence has been used against them.


Well, I can read a letter which I have got on the subject, and which leaves no doubt that the Constabulary do so.


Order, order ! If the hon. Gentleman puts his Question down, on the Paper, it will, no doubt, receive attention.