HC Deb 04 July 1889 vol 337 cc1461-2
MR. GILL (Louth, S)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has any further particulars to give in justification of the conduct of the police in assaulting and wounding the hon. Member for North Monaghan at Cork Railway Station on Sunday last; and, whether ho can now say if any attempt was made to rescue the hon. Member for North East Cork on that occasion?


The District Inspector, in the exercise of his duty, ordered the constabulary under his charge to fall in in such a manner as to prevent, as far as possible, any disturbance or any attempt at rescue on the part of the crowd on the occasion of Mr. William O'Brien's arrest. In order to carry out this object he politely requested the Member for North Monaghan to move on. The hon. Member refused, saying that he had no objection to the manner in which the request was made, but he claimed a right to be there. I have no official information as to what subsequently happened to the hon. Member; but, as I have before stated, there was a dangerous rush of the crowd, who had to be repelled with force by the police, and, I presume, it was then the Member for North Monaghan was struck.


Has the right hon. Gentleman received a paper posted to him by myself, from Cork, containing full particulars of the occurrence? Is it the fact that all that was done was that a few persons on the platform cheered Mr. O'Brien and that no disturbance occurred until the baton charge made by the police, who struck at the people all around them, including the passengers who were going by the train?


I have no reason to believe that any passengers who were going by the train were batoned by the police, nor, as I gather, was it the fact that no violence was displayed by the crowd. On the contrary, I understand that the police were forced down the platform.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that there was no large crowd there at all, and that Mr. O'Brien's arrival there was not expected?


It is a matter of opinion what constitutes a large crowd. I gather that the crowd was sufficient to make the police apprehensive that they would be unable to preserve the peace.