HC Deb 08 September 1887 vol 320 cc1667-8
DR. FOX(for Mr. HARRIS) (Galway, E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the statements contained in the extract from The Daily News, as to recent occurrences in Ballinasloe, be substantially true; whether the following statements correctly describe what took place: — At half-past 10 o'clock on Friday last the police arrested a man for drunkenness. A few people assembled and shouted, as the police treated the prisoner very roughly. On the road, opposite John Rigney's house, Louis Ward's two sons, Tom and Louis, were walking;. The police had gone to the barrack, and save a few shouts from the children, nothing was occurring, when Constable Nolan, by himself, walked up behind Louis Ward's back and struck him on the head with his baton a blow which was heard 40 yards away, and which felled him to the ground. The constable then ran away. Young Ward was taken home insensible, and attended by Dr. De La Hunt, who pronounced him Buffering from concussion. The crowd was so quiet, that when told to disperse they did so. Tom Ward charged Constable Nolan with the assault to Sergeant Charles M'Carthy, but he took no notice whatever of what occurred, and did not even go to see the injured man; and, if so, what action, if any, has been taken by the Local Authorities as regards the conduct of Constable Nolan and Sergeant M'Carthy?


(who replied) said: The County Inspector of Constabulary reports that on Saturday evening, September 3, a prisoner had been sent from Ballinasloe to Galway, and that a disorderly mob had collected on the platform cheering the prisoner and groaning at the Government. Afterwards, about 10.30 p.m., when the police were conveying a drunken man to the barrack, a mob of between 100 and 150 roughs collected round them hooting and groaning. One of the police, Constable Nolan, observed Ward stoop and take up from the ground what appeared to be a stone. He called on him to drop the stone; but instead of doing so he made a motion with his hand to throw it at him. The constable stooped his head to avoid the missile, and struck at Ward with his baton in self-defence. Ward's skull does not appear to have been fractured. The constable did not run away. He rejoined his party to render them assistance in conveying the prisoner. Mr. Gibson, Resident Magistrate, was present, and considers the police displayed great forbearance.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

Arising out of the answer, may I ask how it could be known that Ward had a missile—is it a supposition or a reality?


Considering it was 10.30 p.m., it would be rather difficult to see in the dark.


If this young man was not in possession of a stone, and no stone was thrown, and yet his skull was fractured, was it not most unwarrantable and illegal?


They say his skull was not fractured.


But his head was broken.


Order, order !