HC Deb 27 February 1888 vol 322 cc1491-2
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, If it is a fact that a young man named Patrick Hongan, within the past fortnight, applied for a summons to the Petty Sessions Clerk at Kanturk against Constable Egan of that town, and that the clerk refused to issue a summons without the directions of a magistrate; whether Hongan then applied to Mr. Crawford, J. P., who refused to grant a summons until Hongan went before the Petty Sessions Bench and formally there applied for same; whether Mr. Crawford, at Kanturk Petty Sessions, on Saturday last, the 18th instant, stated from the Bench that it was always the custom not to issue summonses against policemen without the sanction of the Bench; and, whether there is any legal foundation for such a custom?


The facts are correctly stated in the Question of the hon. Member. The Petty Sessions Clerk, in refusing to issue a summons under the circumstances mentioned in the Question without the direction of a magistrate, was acting not merely in accordance with custom, but in pursuance of instructions which he had received from a full Bench of Magistrates. Under the Petty Sessions Act it is the duty of the clerk to issue summonses under the direction of the Justices; and it is quite competent to the Justices to give any directions which they may think necessary for the purpose of protecting the process of the Court from abuse.