§ MR. M'CARTAN
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the report in the Newry Reporter of 26th June, 1890, of an action for trespass against Captain Irwin, of the East Lancashire Regiment, brought before the County Court Judge of Down at the last sitting of the County Court at Newry, from which it appears that, on the 15th July, 1889, Captain Irwin and about 60 men of his regiment were going through a "night attack," in the course of which a number of his men trespassed on the lands of Mr. James Goodman, of Cloghmore, and did damage to his crops; whether he has observed that it appeared in evidence that, when Mr. Goodman protested against the trespass on his crops, one of the soldiers pointed a revolver at him and threatened to shoot him; whether Mr. Goodman offered to leave to arbitration 1749 the amount of loss sustained by him; whether Colonel Griffiths, on 14th August last, in answer to a letter of Mr. T. J. Marron, solicitor for Mr. Goodman, referred Mr. Marron to Captain Irwin as—The officer who was in sole command, and who was solely responsible for any occurrence connected with his party on that nightwhether at the trial advantage was taken of the fact that the trespassers were under the immediate command of the colour sergeant, and that the proper defendant was not before the Court; and whether the Judge is correctly reported to have said—He believed damage had been done by the military, but he could not hold Captian Irwin liable,and he dismissed the case; and whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the matter, and see that fair compensation be given to Mr. Goodman for the damage done to his property by the soldiers on that occasion?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle
It appears that in July, 1889, a patrol, consisting of a corporal and two privates of the East Lancashire Regiment, trespassed on Mr. Goodman's ground. No revolver was in possession of the party, and they had no blank or ball cartridge with them. One of the men was said to have pointed his rifle at Mr. Goodman. Captain Irwin, who was asked to settle the matter, offered to cover the alleged damage, which was refused, and Captain Irwin was unable to get any answer regarding it. A summons was taken out against Captain Irwin, but was dismissed owing to the non-appearance of the complainant. The case was brought forward again at the Quarter Sessions, and it appeared from the evidence he had before him the amount of compensation offered—namely, £1—was ample.
§ MR. SEXTON
inquired if the right hon. Gentleman had received the Report, from which it appeared that the County Court Judge thought the damage had been committed, and expressed no opinion as to the £5 claimed being excessive damage, and if the right hon. Gentleman himself would pay the £5, as the case was dismissed, because Captain Irwin was not the proper officer?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
I am informed the case did not come on because the complainant did not appear. Under these circumstances, it is not likely I am going to pay the £5.
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
If the hon. Gentleman will let me see the Report I will consider whether there is anything further in it.