HC Deb 09 September 1887 vol 321 cc19-20
MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Constable M'Caffrey, a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, stationed for some years past at Coleraine, was a witness for the Crown in the recent criminal cases arising out of the attack on an excursion party of Belfast Foresters at Portrush; whether, on his return to Coleraine after having given evidence, he was assailed by a crowd which had gathered in the railway station to await the arrival of the train, and was taken out of the sta- tion by a back way; whether the force of constabulary guarding him was stoned, and charged the crowd with batons; and, whether, next day, the Irish Government, by a telegram, removed Constable M'Caffrey from Coleraine to the City of Derry?

THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN)(who replied) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)

said, that the Inspector General of Constabulary reported that Constable M'Caffrey was a witness in the case referred to. There was a large crowd waiting at the Coleraine Railway Station for the arrival of the train by which he and some other constables returned. He was not assaulted, but marched with the other constables on duty at the station outside the platform. Some stones were afterwards thrown, which struck some of the constables, but did not injure them. Constable M'Caffrey was removed to Derry by the District Inspector, who considered that the hostile feeling against him would interfere with the efficient discharge of his duty.


Do the Government approve of the action of the County Inspector; and is there any precedent for the removal of a constable from one part of Ireland to another in consequence of an attack upon him by a mob?


I think many precedents will be found for removing a constable where a hostile feeling exists to such an extent as to prevent his being efficient in the discharge of his duty.