HC Deb 26 June 1888 vol 327 cc1267-8
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If any instructions have recently been issued to the Irish Constabulary limiting or interfering with the ordinary right of the general public to admission into public Court-houses in Ireland within the limits of reasonable accommodation; whether he is aware that within the past nine months the Constabulary have frequently debarred the public from enjoying this right of access; if he is aware that, at a public trial on Wednesday, the 20th instant, at Liscarroll, County Cork, a respectable trader of Kanturk, Mr. Thomas Linehan, and several other parties, were denied admission to the Court, which was at the time not half filled; and, in venturing to assert his right to admission, Mr. Linehan was assaulted by a constable to the knowledge of a District Inspector; and, if he will give directions to the Police Authorities as to their duty in this matter?


(who replied) said: Sir, the Inspector General of Constabulary reports that no instructions of the kind referred to have been issued. In the particular case mentioned the County Inspector reports that the police are ordered not to allow the Court to be overcrowded. Orders, however, were given that the friends of the defendants should be admitted. He also ordered that Mr. Linehan should be admitted; but every seat was then occupied. Mr. Linehan afterwards complained to the County Inspector that he had been assaulted by a constable. It is not the case that the alleged assault was committed to the knowledge of the District Inspector; on the contrary, none of the officers present on duty witnessed it.


asked, if the hon. and learned Gentleman was aware that Mr. Linehan had asked the County Inspector to give him the name of the constable, whom he pointed out as having assaulted him, and that it was refused; and, if not, would the hon. and learned Gentleman make further inquiries into the matter?


replied that as to the specific matter alleged he had no information; but if the hon. Gentleman required him to supplement the information he should put a Question on the Paper.