HC Deb 21 February 1890 vol 341 cc874-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has seen a letter in the Cork papers of the 17th instant from the Rev. Father O'Keefe, P.P., of Meelin, County Cork, complaining of the conduct of the local police in constantly following his curate, Father Kennedy; if he has seen a statement in the papers, that on the particular occasion complained of in the letter the constables followed Father Kennedy to the house of a sick woman named Mrs. M'Carthy, lying at the point of death, and to whom the priest went in the discharge of his religious ministrations, and, whilst so engaged, one of the constables, with rifle in hand, appeared at the window of the sick woman's room, and pressed his face against the glass, to the great distress of the woman, and that all the while the priest was engaged on the duties of his ministration the dying woman was alarmed by the constables pacing around the house; and whether he will inquire into the truth of their complaints against the police?


The Constabulary Authorities report that Father Kennedy has been actively engaged in endeavouring to revive the local branch of the National League, which has been suppressed in that district as an unlawful Association. He, on the day in question, had been accompanied to his own house by a number of the members of the suppressed branch. The police then warned him against holding an unlawful meeting, and continued present to prevent it. Later in the day he proceeded to Mr. M'Carthy's house, accompanied by the secretary of the suppressed branch. The police followed him. As. soon as the sergeant perceived that no unlawful assembly was intended. he remained some distance away from the house. The police were not aware that anyone was sick.