§ MR. D. SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, since County Inspector Lennon came to Donegal, almost all the transfers of the constables of that county have been Roman Catholics; whether, on the separate occasions during the absence of the District Inspector of the Ardara District, Head Constables Reilly and Hannon were transferred temporarily there to do clerical work for Head Constable Bailie, and from what source were their expenses paid; whether the County Inspector reported the incompetency of Head Constable Bailie to the Inspector General; whether he was tested in conformity with section 1429 of the Code; and, whether it is customary to promote a Head Constable for such services as those rendered by Head Constable Bailie?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said: The Inspector General of Constabulary informs me that it is the case that since Mr. Lennon took charge of the County Donegal, a large majority of the transfers have been Roman Catholics; but that the question of religion had nothing whatever to do with these transfers—some were on punishment, some to meet the exigencies of the service, and others on the men's own application. On two occasions, during the absence of the District Inspector of Ardara, the Head Constables named were sent to take temporary charge of the district. Head Constable Reilly was sent because of the illness of Head Constable Bailie; and Head Constable Hannon, because the County Inspector did not consider Head Constable Bailie sufficiently active to take charge of the district in the absence of the officer. The expenses of the two Head Constables for their temporary transfer were paid from the Constabulary Vote. There does not appear to have been any other Report of the County Inspector representing the Head Constable's incompetency. The Inspector General, on the occasion of Head Constable Hannon being applied for to take temporary charge of the district, directed that in future Head Constable Bailie should be left in charge of the district, and should exert himself to discharge the duties efficiently. He has not been tested in conformity with Section 1429 of the Code, the necessity for such not having arisen; but should he fail to discharge in future his duties efficiently, the question will arise as to whether he is fit for his present rank. When the turn of this Head Constable arrived on the seniority list of his rank for advancement he was, on the recommendation of his officers, called up for examination at head-quarters, and, having passed the usual test, was promoted.