HC Deb 12 August 1890 vol 348 cc719-20

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a policeman named James M'Gouran was tried under a charge of violation of duty by improperly arresting certain persons, namely, William King, Timothy O'Keefe, and Michael Keleher, all of Millstreet, at Millstreet, on the 22nd day of July 1890, and that it was proved the policeman was drunk on the occasion in question; whether District Inspector Stevenson, in prosecuting, and asking for the fullest investigation being made into the case as reflecting on the character of the police in Muskerry, was stopped by Mr. Butler, R.M.; whether Head Constable O'Brien stated that, after repeated communications as to the drunken condition of the policemen, King and Tully, finally proceeded to the house and found them there drunk; whether these men had revolvers on this occasion, and whether the head constable placed them under arrest; and, if not, can he explain on what grounds; and whether the arrests in question were made illegally?

MR A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

I am informed that the facts are as stated in the first paragraph. District Inspector Stevenson did propose to call other witnesses in consequence of statements which had appeared in the public Press, but the Magistrates were unanimous in considering that they had sufficient evidence of what had occurred. The head constable's evidence was, I am informed, not as stated in the third paragraph, but was to the effect that upon statements being made to him in regard to the constables, he immediately proceeded to the place. Constable Tully had a revolver; Constable M'Gouran had no firearms. The head constable took the two constables to the barracks, and, acting according to the regulations of the Force, he did not put them under formal arrest, but placed them under the charge of two other constables. The arrests are presumed to have been illegal, as the persons were not charged with any offence.