HC Deb 16 June 1890 vol 345 cc1040-1
MR. P. J. O'BRIEN (Tipperary, N.)

(for Mr. J. REDMOND, Wexford, N.): I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that at the fair of Arklow on the 10th instant, two respectable men, named Peter M'Carthy and Henry Birthwistle, were shadowed by Constable Johnson through out the whole day, and the constable on one occasion shoved against them and endeavoured to provoke an assault; whether John Millen, who was offering-mats for sale, was also shadowed, and afterwards arrested; and whether he will state the crime of which these men were suspected?


Peter M'Carthy and John Millen were closely watched by the police at Arklow fair on the occasion mentioned. Both of them had previously been convicted of intimidation, and there was ground for supposing that they were at the fair for the purpose of boycotting. Millen was arrested under the Pedlars Act for hawking without a licence, a charge to which he pleaded guilty. It does not appear that Henry Birthwistle was watched, except for a few minutes when he was in company with M'Carthy.


May I ask what is the rank of the officer in Ireland who is allowed to dictate the degree of shadowing that is to be practised by the police?


As this is a matter of importance, I should like to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will state to the House in what manner this method of shadowing operates to prevent boycotting in Ireland, because it is not the fact——


Order, order! That is a matter of argument.


Having given instructions on this matter, has the right hon. Gentleman not informed himself of the rank and responsibility of the officer who dictates this shadowing?


I do not think I am bound to keep in my mind the names of all the officers who give instructions in this matter. Perhaps the hon. Member will put a question on the subject on the Paper.