HC Deb 14 March 1889 vol 333 c1632
MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

asked the Solicitor General for Ireland, whether, at the trial of Father M'Fadden and others at Letterkenny on Thursday, the 7th instant, the accused were passed to their places in Court before a number of constables who were placed in Court, one of them having a note-book in hand which he was using; whether, on the attention of the magistrates being drawn to this by the counsel for the accused, Mr. Hamilton, R.M., asked District Inspector Stevenson whether the constables so placed and acting were witnesses proposed to be examined by the Crown for the purpose of indentifying any of the accused, and that this was admitted to be so by District Inspector Stevenson; whether Mr. Hamilton thereupon ordered that the constables should be sent out of Court, whereupon about 30 of them left it; whether, some time subsequently, one of these men, Constable Boyle, was again in Court, and was again ordered by the magistrate to leave it, which he did; and, whether he will give such instructions to those in charge of the Constabulary as will prevent similar proceedings in future?


The Constabulary authorities report that owing to the large number of prisoners who were being brought up before the magistrates on the occasion in question, four constables were placed for the purpose of noting the prisoners, with a view to prevent subsequent confusion as regards those who might be discharged by the Court and those retained in custody. On the application of counsel for the defence that all witnesses should be put out of Court being acceded to, these constables at once left with about 20 others who were also witnesses. Afterwards Constable Boyle having been sent for came back into Court, but upon counsel objecting to his presence he at once left, having been there for a few moments only.