§ MR. PAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether 11 men—namely, Morgan, M'Inerney, O'Gorman, Rourke, Toole, Donnellon, Simon Coghlan, Michael Coghlan, Costello, Kelly, and Meade, were sentenced at Ennis, on the 22nd of February, to terms of imprisonment varying from four months to two months, with hard labour, for refusing to sell turf to the police; whether all these men lived at a distance of about 15 miles from the district in which the police were quartered; and, if so, whether the police had any right to requisition their turf; and, whether any limit is placed on the authority and discretion of the Constabulary in such proceedings?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) 846 said, the Inspector General of Constabulary had reported that the persons named in the Question had been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, from two to four months, tome of them for refusing to sell turf to the police, and others for endeavouring to induce others not to sell, the police being Boycotted. None of them lived a distance of 15 miles from the police. Three lived about five miles distant, and the remainder within a quarter to two miles. The police had every right to ask these men to sell them turf, as they had exhibited turf for sale in various parts of the district.
§ MR. PAULTON
Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that all these persons had regular customers for their turf in Ennis whom they were in the habit of supplying, and that if they failed to supply these persons with turf, they would have suffered the loss of their custom, a very serious loss to them?
§ MR. COX (Clare, E.)
Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether the police ever asked these men to supply them with turf before, and whether the only object of the police in asking for the turf on this particular occasion was to initiate a prosecution?
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
May I ask the right hon. and gallant Gentleman whether the police under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act have a right of pre-emption to the turf?