HC Deb 05 July 1888 vol 328 cc399-400

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, on the 16th instant, a man named Cornelius Duggan, aged 80 years, was arrested at 5 a.m. at Derripeholla near Bantry, County Cork, by a police sergeant named Sullivan, on a charge of rescuing his cattle from a Sheriff's bailiff; whether in view of the fact that Duggan had satisfied the bailiff's claim previous to the seizure he was within his legal right; whether Duggan was taken to Aughaville Police Barracks, a distance of four miles, without boots or trousers, although he repeatedly requested the sergeant to be allowed to clothe himself; whether, after being supplied by a policeman with a pair of boots, he was conveyed from Aughaville to Bantry, a distance of six miles, without trousers, was there detained in the custody of the police for three hours, and was then required to give bail for his appearance at the next Petty Sessions Court; whether, when the charge was preferred against him at the Petty Sessions, one of the presiding Justices strongly condemned the treatment of Duggan; and, if the above statements are true, what steps the Government will take to prevent a recurrence of such conduct on the part of the Royal Irish Constabulary?


The District Inspector of Constabulary reports that the statements in the Question are, for the most part, incorrect and altogether misleading. Duggan is about 68 years of age, and was arrested about 7 a.m. on June 16. The sergeant cau- tioned the man twice before he arrested him, and only arrested him because he positively refused to allow the bailiff to remove the cow which he had seized. The process appears to have been for ordinary debt; and it would seem that the man had paid some portion of it to the creditor, but not the full amount of the decree held by the bailiff. He was not within his legal right in obstructing the bailiff, his remedy being by civil action, if he considered the seizure excessive. He had on when arrested a pair of thick flannel trousers, such as the people wear in summer for working in. He was not wearing boots, which, however, is not unusual in country parts. He did not ask for his best clothes until he found that he would have to go to Bantry when some way on the road to the barracks. On arrival at the barracks the sergeant sent a messenger for these clothes, and the messenger having forgotten the man's boots a policeman very kindly supplied the deficiency. The man when brought before a magistrate at Bantry was in the usual way required to give bail for his appearance at Petty Sessions. When the case came on for hearing at Petty Sessions the presiding magistrate stated distinctly in Court that the police had acted rightly in the matter. The case was dismissed without prejudice, as the bailiff did not appear.


asked, whether the flannel garment was not a pair of drawers; and whether it was necessary, for the preservation of law and order in Ireland, that an old man 68 years of age should be arrested at 3 o'clock in the morning and taken across the country without his trousers?


I cannot draw a distinction between drawers and trousers; but I presume that if the garment was fit to work in it was fit to travel in.