§ MR. HALLEY STEWART (Lincolnshire, Spalding)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to insults received by a party of Irish and English ladies and gentlemen at the hands of members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, on the 14th of April, narrated as follows by the Cork Examiner of the 16th April:— 1519When the waggonette got about 300 yards outside Cashel, the police car…drove up furiously, and actually forced the horse's head into the body of the waggonette in which were seated the ladies.… The police in a body started the singing of 'The Rising of the Moon,' as loud as their vocal organs would permit…The preservers of law and order exhibited some extraordinary symptoms of drunkenness…and one of them cried out to the travellers, who were supposed to be under their most careful vigilance,' Come out and give us a song up there.'…Finding that no response was being made to anything they said, one of them cried out, 'Drive on there, old fogey.' Their efforts to ntimidate Mr. Stewart, M.P., having failed, the police again resorted to the most disorderly shouting and jeering.…The matter assuming so serious an aspect, and taking into consideration that each of these policemen was armed with a loaded revolver, it was decided that the protection…of the police at the next barrack should be invoked. Consequently a stop was made at the police barrack at Golden, and Mr. Halley Stewart, M.P., Mr. Morton, and Mr. John Cullinane entered the barrack, and inquired for the sergeant in charge.… Mr. Stewart then proceeded to make a statement to the sergeant, and while doing so Acting Constable Mooney frequently interrupt d him, and, when he tried to remonstrate with the acting constable for not allowing him to speak, the constable replied, 'Haven't I as good a right to speak as you?' In compliance with a request from Mr. Stewart, the other constables were brought forward for the purpose of getting their names, and when one of them. Constable Maddock, entered, he, while propping himself against the wall so as to be able to remain standing, said, 'Don't give my name to him. How the h—I do I know who he is?While Mr. Stewart and the other gentlemen were in the barrack at Golden, me of the constables came up to the end of the waggonette, and, addressing the ladies, who remained on the car, said, 'They were a d—n lot of loafers.'When the waggonette arrived at Tip-perary, they drove direct to the police barrack, where a similar complaint was made to that at Golden, to District Inspector Gamble. Mr. Gamble said he regretted the occurrence, but refused to bring the constables forward;and whether he will direct an inquiry into the conduct of the police, and take measures to protect Irish and English ladies and gentlemen, peaceably returning at night to their homes, from the dangers to which they are subject when followed by drunken policemen armed with loaded revolvers?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FORE IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The account which I have received of this regrettable incident does not accord in all its details with the news- 1520 paper account to which the hon. Gentleman calls my attention; but there appears to be no doubt that two policemen were drunk. They have been severely punished for this offence against the discipline of the force; but if this is not considered sufficient, and if either on personal or public grounds the hon. Member or anybody else thinks it necessary or desirable to take further action, it is, I believe, within their competence to swear an information against the policemen before a magistrate.
§ MR. H. STEWART
Why has punishment been limited to the two policemen? As I can vouch for the accuracy of the narrative I have submitted to the Chief Secretary, will the right hon. Gentleman lay on the Table the information by which it was contradicted?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
No, Sir; I do not think it would be worth while, unless the differences were upon points of material importance, which I do not gather that they are. One of the men was a sergeant, and he has been degraded to the ranks and placed at the bottom of the list—a punishment which deprives him of considerable pay and privileges, and of promotion for some time to come. The other constable has been fined, and the fine carries with it the deferring of his promotion for a considerable period.