§ MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN (Mayo, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the conduct of Mr. Longbourne, R.M., in a case of trespass at the suit of Edward Cuffe against P. J. Gordon, Martin Prendergast, and Patrick Donnellan, heard at Petty Sessions, Claremorris, County Mayo, on the 22nd instant, at the commencement of which Mr. Longbourne refused to allow the case to be proceeded with, and called Head Constable Murray to the Bench; whether it is correctly reported that Mr. Longbourne declared from the Bench that the lands were "the scene of an intended eviction," and that there should be a prosecution under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act against the defendants, and that when Mr. Gordon protested in open Court against this treatment, orders were given to the police to have him removed from the Court; whether he is aware that Mr. Longbourne is prevented by illness from attending regularly at the Petty Sessions; and, whether Mr. Longbourne had any authority for preventing the complainant from proceeding with the case of trespass, and for developing it into a Crimes Act prosecution?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
From a full Report which I have received it appears that this Question does not accurately represent the facts; but the case being still sub judice, I am unable to enter into the details of the charges to be tried. I may, however, observe that Gordon was ordered to leave the Court for deliberately insulting the Bench after the case had been adjourned; but it was not necessary for the police to remove him. The Resident Magistrate has never been prevented by illness from attending Petty Sessions, which he attends regularly, except when prevented through more important duties. In the course of the case the evidence showed that the charge before the Court did not represent the true character of the case; and the magistrates adjourned 493 it, with the view of having the real offence properly brought forward.