HC Deb 20 February 1888 vol 322 cc873-6
MR. M'CARTAN(for Mr. P. J. POWER) (Waterford, E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, On what charge was the hon. Member for West Waterford (Mr. Pyne) rearrested at Kilmacthomas, on the 15th instant, after he had entered into bail to prosecute his appeal against the decision of Messrs. Considine and Bodkin, Resident Magistrates; why bail was refused for his appearance at Petty Sessions, at which the second charge against him was to be heard; if on the hearing of the second charge the Crown applied for a remand for eight days; if it is a fact that bail to a large amount was offered for the hon. Member's appearance at the end of that period, and on what grounds was that application refused; if when making this application to be admitted to bail the hon. Member was suffering from a severe wound inflicted by a police bâton; what action is to be taken with regard to the police constable who inflicted the wound; on what grounds, and by whom, were the police ordered to disperse by force any people accompanying the hon. Member to the Waterford and Limerick Railway, on his way to Clonmel, on the 15th instant; were the wishes of the Mayor and the Local Justices consulted; and, if not, why, before issuing such orders to the police; whether he has information to show that much indignation prevailed at the treatment which the hon. Member received, and at the manner in which the Mayor and the Local Justices had been treated, and that a collision between the police and the people was averted only by the influence of the Mayor and his friends; and, why did the police authorities refrain from giving notice of their intention of dispersing the hon. Member's friends until near the hour at which he should start for Clonmel? The hon. Gentleman also asked, Whether the right hon. Gentleman can state if the hon. Member for West Waterford, while in custody under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, and on his way to the Clonmel Court House yesterday, received a severe bâton wound on the head from one of the policemen on duty; whether his attention has been called to the report of the case in The Daily News of the 17th instant, where it is stated that Alderman Strange applied to the Court to have the hon. Member admitted to bail in order that he might receive proper medical treatment for the wound thus inflicted on him; that a Mr. Lonergan offered bail to the amount of £5,000; that the District Inspector of Constabulary had received instructions (from Dublin Castle) not to accept any bail, and that Colonel Carew, R.M., said "he could not accept bail under the circumstances;" and, whether, having regard to the decision of the Queen's Bench Division in admitting to bail the hon. Member for West Cork, he will consider the propriety of extending to magistrates the right of exercising some discretion on the question of admitting to bail the political prisoners brought before them under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887? The hon. Gentleman said, the quotation from the remarks of Colonel Carew as given in the Notice Paper should read— He could not attempt to accept bail under such circumstances.


(who replied) said: The hon. Member referred to was, in the second case, charged with unlawfully taking part in a criminal conspiracy, and with inciting to intimidation. The Resident Magistrate reports that he refused bail because it was opposed by the District Inspector; and also because, in his own opinion, a person who does all in his power to evade arrest is not entitled to bail when made amenable. The Crown applied for a remand to next Petty Sessions. Bail was offered to a large amount, and refused for the reasons just stated. The police were not ordered to disperse by force any people accompanying the hon. Member. A crowd of roughs did follow the party, and on arrival at the railway station threw stones at the police. It is believed one of these struck the hon. Member, as the immediate police escort were armed with rifles, not with bâtons. The doctor who examined the cut refuses to say it was caused by a bâton. A torchlight procession with bands had been contemplated; but on the representation of the police the Mayor prevented it. I have no information as to the alleged indignation of the Mayor and Local Justices. The magistrates had full discretion as to admitting to bail in a case such as that referred to in the Question.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

Will the right hon. and gallant Member say whether an investigation will be ordered as to whether the hon. Member was struck by a stone or by a bâton, as we have been statements which lead us to suppose that it must have been by a bâton?


said, the Government had no information which would lead them to call for any special investigation. He had also seen statements that the blow was inflicted by a stone, and as the police escort were armed with rifles and not with bâtons, it was natural to suppose the wound was not caused by a bâton.


said, that his information seemed to show that the blow was given by a police bâton. He wished to know whether the Chief Secretary would order such an inquiry into the circumstances of the case as would enable independent testimony to be brought to bear upon it?


I must ask the hon. Member to put the Question on the Paper.


asked, if any inquiry was made as to how the wound was inflicted; and he also wished to know how many of the policemen who were on duty in Clonmel had been engaged in guarding Lisfinny Castle while the hon. Member was patiently awaiting arrest?


said, he had no information on these points.