HC Deb 17 February 1888 vol 322 cc713-5
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he has been informed of the fact that the Chief Magistrate of Cork, the Mayor of that City, was sentenced on Tuesday, 14th instant, by two Resident Magistrates, under the Crimes Act, to a fortnight's imprisonment, for an alleged assault upon a police constable; whether the assault was of a purely technical character, and occurred while the Mayor was engaged in trying to preserve the peace of the City, and no violence of any kind whatever was used by the Mayor; whether he has seen a report of the evidence of the High Sheriff of the City and of the borough engineer, who stated that the Mayor acted in the interests of Peace and the preservation of order; whether he is aware that the said constable (Sergeant Knox) was for a time an inmate of a lunatic asylum; and, furthermore, that the Resident Magistrates refused to state a case for a superior Court, or to increase the sentence for purpose of an appeal, or to express an opinion that the Mayor should be treated as a first-class misdemeanant; and, whether, under these circumstances, and considering the position of the prisoner, he will cause immediate inquiry to be made into the action of the Resident Magistrates, and, pending such inquiry, order his release?


(who replied) said: The case against the Mayor of Cork was not an assault of a purely technical character; but one of gross interference with a police sergeant in the discharge of his duty in the public street, and in presence of a large crowd. I have not seen a report of evidence that the Mayor acted in the matter as alleged. Upwards of six years ago the sergeant was admitted as a patient when suffering from a paroxysm of grief through domestic affliction; but the Resident Medical Superintendent subsequently certified that he had not been able to discover the slightest trace of insanity. The Court refused to state a case, as they considered the application frivolous and that no question of law was involved. The Court considered the ends of justice were satisfied by the sentence imposed, and therefore refused to increase it. They likewise declined to make any order as to whether the Mayor should be treated as a first-class misdemeanant. The Government see no reason to interfere.


asked why the Mayor was not tried under the ordinary Petty Sessions Act before the ordinary Courts, or why civil proceedings were not taken against him? Why was he tried before two Resident Magistrates under the Crimes Act?


The hon. Gentleman had better give notice of that Question.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid.)

asked, if it was a fact that the constable had previously been committed to a lunatic asylum on the evidence of two medical men, who stated that he had endeavoured to take his life, and was prevented by his men, and that he was discovered at night in a field trying to feed the cow of the Clerk of the Peace with bulls-eyes?


Order, order!