HC Deb 28 June 1888 vol 327 cc1562-3
MR. SHEEHY (Galway, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the Irish Local Government Board and the Irish Registrar General took any, and, if so, what steps, to ascertain whether Mr. Peter Sweeny was arrested at any time under "The Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act, 1882," before refusing to sanction his appointment by the Loughrea Board of Guardians to the offices of Sanitary Officer and District Registrar, on the grounds that Mr. Sweeny was arrested on a charge of suspicion of murder in the years 1880, 1881, or 1882; whether there is any truth whatever in the statement that Mr. Peter Sweeny was ever under arrest on such a charge; whether he is aware that Mr. Sweeny has undertaken, by contract, to sink two wells in the Craughwell Division, and has had to suspend work, after having gone a considerable depth, because of the refusal to grant him a licence for dynamite and blasting powder necessary for the work; whether, for the same cause, he is unable to proceed with the building of two schools in the parish of Kiltulla; and, if he can state the grounds for the persecution to which Mr. Peter Sweeny is subjected?


The Local Government Board, in the course of their inquiries, ascertained that Sweeny had been in prison for three weeks in Galway Prison under the Peace Preservation Act; and, further, that his antecedents were such as to render him an unfit person for service under the Poor Law Acts. It is the case that he was arrested on the 4th of July, 1882, under the Protection of Person and Property Act, 1881, on suspicion of being accessory to murder, and his two brothers were likewise arrested on the same suspicion. The Guardians did not make an appointment within the statutable period to the vacant office of Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, which thereupon vested in the Lord Lieutenant, who appointed the interim Registrar, who had discharged satisfac- torily the duties of assistant and deputy for some time. I am not aware of what contracts the man may have undertaken. The responsible authorities, however, cannot consent to his holding a licence for dynamite and powder.