HC Deb 19 August 1889 vol 339 cc1666-8

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the report of the prosecution against Mr. Michael Walsh, at Fermoy Petty Sessions, in the Cork Examiner of the 14th instant, from which it appears that Constable Lane, R.I.C., while following a man named Maye, whom he had been told off to watch, met the defendant, who shouted out, "run on you—" This was said in a jeering way, whereupon the constable caught him and asked his name, and that on cross-examination the constable said— If a man refused to give his name it might not he right to 'chuckle' him, but to use necessary violence; whether it is a fact that on this evidence the Magistrates sent the defendant to gaol for three months, in default of giving bail for good behaviour, and dismissed a cross charge of assault against the constable, Mr. Longbourne, R.M., in giving judgment, saying the constable was "perfectly justified" in anything he did; whether Mr. Longbourne is a Resident Magistrate of whose legal knowledge the Lord Lieutenant is satisfied; and whether it is the law in Ireland that if a person refuses to give his name to a constable, the latter can use violence for the purpose of compelling it to be given?


I understand that the constable demanded Walsh's name from him for having used insulting language to him while in the discharge of his duty. The man having refused to give his name in the first instance, the constable held him by his coat until he gave his name. He did not use any violence towards the man. When the ease came before the Magistrates in ordinary Petty Sessions they considered the case proved, and to protect the constable from further insults they ordered Walsh to find bail for good behaviour. This he refused to find, electing to go to prison in default. In giving judgment, the Presiding Magistrate (Colonel Longbourne, R.M.), said that the Bench considered the constable justified in his action under the circumstances, as he was engaged on an important duty which did not admit of the delay which would have been occasioned by arresting the man and taking him to the Police Barracks, the usual course in such cases. Colonel Longbourne is not of the number of Resident Magistrates declared legally qualified within the meaning of Section 1 of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act.


Is it not the fact that the constable admitted his violence to the man?


I have not seen any report to that effect. It is not consistent with the information given to me.