§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Mr. Irwin, RM., who acted as presiding magistrate, on giving the decision of the Bench in the case of "O'Shea v. Reardon" for an assault alleged to have been committed in Macroom on the 8th of April last, is correctly reported to have stated, with respect to the meeting held on the occasion at issue, that he was not there to justify the magistrates who suppressed the meeting, but he even thought the meeting legal; whether it was clearly proved that O'Shea first struck Creedon; whether Mr. Irwin said that Creedon had no right to resist; whether it was on account of Creedon's superior strength he received the sentence of four months' imprisonment; whether it was proved that Creedon after knocking O'Shea down was attacked by nine or ten policemen; whether it is correct that for several minutes they made no attempt to arrest him, but beat him with batons and fists; and, whether, under the circumstances, an inquiry will be made into the case, and the suppression of the meeting in question.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Resident Magistrate who decided in the case of "O'Shea v. Reardon" at Macroom states that the observations attributed to him are not correctly reported. It was not clearly proved that Sergeant O'Shea first struck Creedon. On the contrary, there was not a scintilla of proof that he oven touched Creedon before the latter felled him with a blow of a heavy club. It was not on account of the superior strength of Creedon he received the sentence of four months' imprisonment; but for a cowardly and 1822 brutal assault on a police officer in the execution of his duty. It was not proved that Creedon, after knocking the sergeant down, was attacked by nine or ten policemen. The sergeant was separated from his comrades when he was knocked down, and his dangerous position was not at first observed. Creedon was in the act of beating him on the ground when he was arrested by one policeman. He violently resisted arrest, but he was ultimately secured.
§ DR. TANNER
May I ask the Chief Secretary, on what grounds he bases his answer that Creedon first struck Sergeant O'Shea; and also upon what grounds he founds his answer that the policeman did not beat Creedon after he was held by three or four policemen; and, also, whether it is not a fact that O'Shea, while Creedon was held by four policemen, came up and deliberately struck Creedon with his baton three or four times? I saw the affair myself, and no matter what the Chief Secretary's information—
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
Might I ask a Question in connection with the same incident—and that is, whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware or not that there was no evidence whatever brought forward at the trial of this man Creedon as to whether the meeting was a legal or an illegal one; whether the Crown counsel brought forward any evidence whatever to show that the meeting was illegal?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I may remind the hon. Member that even if the meeting was a legal one, it is not lawful to beat a policeman with a club. Therefore, the question of the legality of the meeting was not the question at issue at all.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER
The Question which the hon. Gentleman has 1823 asked does not properly arise out of this Question.
§ DR. TANNER
Arising out of the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, might I ask him if it is lawful after a policeman strikes a man for that man to strike him back; and I would also ask him if, under the circumstances that have been quoted, it was satisfactorily proved at the trial that the meeting was an illegal one; and whether, that not being the case, Creedon was not doubly entitled to return the attack of the cruel and cowardly policeman who struck him first?
§ [No reply.]