HC Deb 26 November 1888 vol 331 cc145-6
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether The offence of using threatening and abusive language to District Inspector Rodgers, Royal Irish Constabulary, while in the discharge of his duty, for which Mr. Cecil Roche, R.M., on the 16th instant, reported to Mr. Speaker he had ordered Mr. Sheehan, a Member of this House, to be imprisoned for one calendar month, consisted solely, as alleged in the report of an appeal to the Dublin Exchequer Division on the case in The Times of the 20th instant, in Mr. Sheehan's having used to the Inspector, who was searching his house, the words "Oh, you wretched!" and then shouted "Boo for Balfour"?

THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN)(who replied) said (Dublin University)

The hon. Member for East Kerry was convicted under the ordinary law by a full Bench of Magistrates, consisting of two Resident Magistrates and four local Justices of the Peace, all of whom were unanimous in their decision. This decision was affirmed on appeal before the Exchequer Division of the High Court of Justice. The words addressed by him to the District Inspector are not accurately represented in the Question. The streets were full of numbers of people, it being a fair night; some of them were more or less under the influence of drink, and the crowd, which had hitherto been peaceable, became excited and turbulent through the hon. Member's action. The order of the magistrates was that he should find bail for his good behaviour. This he refused to do, electing the alternative of one month's imprisonment.


pointed out that the words, "Oh, you wretched!" printed in the Question, should have been "Oh, you wretch!" Was this the inaccuracy to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred?


said, there were additional words used by Mr. Sheehan. He had told the police officer that "ho might fare worse."

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

said, he had been present in Court at the trial, and he would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman was not the expression used by Mr. Sheehan, "You may go farther and faro worse"; and whether two witnesses swore that be did not use the expression, "Oh, you wretch!" He also asked whether Mr. Sheehan had not been summarily arrested and taken to Tralee Gaol, bail being refused pending the trial?


asked for Notice of the Question.


asked whether the expression for using which Mr. Sheehan had been convicted—namely, "Boo for Balfour!"—was held to be threatening and abusive in respect of Rodgers?


No, Sir; but that is only a portion of the language which he used.

MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

Under what Statute is it laid down that the expression, "You may go farther and fare worse," is illegal?


Order, order!