HC Deb 26 March 1888 vol 324 cc242-4

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the police in Letterkenny, County Donegal, on the 27th of January last, seized a number of horses and carts belonging to farmers of the district whilst on their way to market with their produce for sale, and that without producing any warrant; whether the carts and horses were taken away by the police and the farmers' goods stored in hotel yards, the farmers being prevented from taking them out for sale; whether, among others, one Anthony Donnell, of Maghera, had his horse, cart, and load of flax seized; and, whether the flax was thrown into the yard of Miss Hegarty's hotel, the District Inspector refusing to allow the owner to take it to the market place, only 50 yards distant; if so, whether this was done with the sanction of the Authorities, and under what instructions or by what right?


(who replied) said: On the 27th of January the police at Letterkenny seized for the Military Authorities five carts and horses, two only of which belonged to farmers of the district, who had brought them to market with produce for sale. The produce consisted of flax and shrubs. It is not the case that this was done without producing any warrant. The police both produced and read the warrant to the parties before the seizures were made. No man of the name of Anthony Donnell appears to have had his horse, cart, or load of flax seized. In the case of the carts that were seized, the District Inspector several times requested the owners to remove the loads, or take them to any place in the town they desired. This they would not do. He therefore caused the loads to be removed and placed in a dry house, the owners being told they could have their goods at any time. The owners subsequently removed them.

MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR, (Donegal, E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the Police Authorities in Donegal had previous to the 27th of January last, in accordance with section 114, subsection (2), caused to be kept at some convenient place, and open for inspection at all reasonable times, a list of persons liable to furnish carriages and animals under the Army Act, 1881; and, whether the orders given by constables for furnishing carriages and animals have been made from such list in regular rotation, in accordance with sub-section (3) of the same section?


(who replied) said, he might answer both paragraphs of the Question in the affirmative.


asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether in January last the Lord Lieutenant, by Order, distinctly stating that a case of emergency existed, and signified by him or the Under Secretary, authorized any Field Officer commanding the Forces in County Donegal to issue a requisition of emergency; and, if so, whether he will lay a Copy of such Order upon the Table; whether the officer so authorized issued such requisition; and, if so, whether he will lay a Copy of the same upon the Table; and, whether a Justice of the Peace on such requisition issued his warrant for the provision of carriages and animals?


(who replied) said: The Lord Lieutenant did in January last issue an Emergency Order, signified by the Under Secretary, authorizing the issue of a requisition of emergency by the General Officer commanding the Forces in County Donegal. The officer so authorized did issue such requisition. The Government do not see that, as a matter of practice, any public purpose would be served by laying a Copy of these documents upon the Table, the terms of which will be found in the 115th section of the Army Act of 1881. A Justice of the Peace did issue a warrant on such requisition for the provision of carriages and animals.


Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether the requisition and warrant in question were issued before or after the seizure?




asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether Colonel Kinloch, in command of the 60th Rifles in Donegal, in January last, some days after the seizure of a number of carts and horses in and about Letterkenny for the conveyance of the military to Dunfanaghy, between 20 and 30 miles away, sent word to the owners that their vehicles and animals were at stabling in Dunfanaghy, and that after one day from the date of his communication they would remain at livery, subject to the owners' risk, and to payment by them of the charges for keep; whether this is a proper discharge according to the official interpretation of the Army Act; and, what amount of compensation or hire was paid to Anthony Donnell, of Maghera, in respect of his vehicle and horses seized on the occasion referred to?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

Horses and carts were impressed for the conveyance of baggage to Dunfanaghy in January last. Several of the drivers absconded en route, and their carts and horses were driven to Dunfanaghy by soldiers. As soon as the officer commanding found that the carts were no longer required he sent word to the owners that they could take them away; and that if they failed to do so the animals would stand at livery at the owners' risk and expense. A compensation was paid to those drivers who accompanied their carts. As the drivers—the owners' servants—voluntarily abandoned their employers' horses and vehicles, I am advised that the course taken by Colonel Kinloch would be considered a reasonable discharge by a County Court Judge acting under section 115 (4) of the Army Act. Anthony Donnell was, on the 2nd of February last, paid 11s., being at the rate of ½d. per cwt. per mile, going and returning. As the driver abandoned the cart at Letterkenny no compensation for detention was paid to him.