HC Deb 24 June 1890 vol 345 cc1794-5
MR. DALTON (Donegal, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the proceedings at Falcarragh Petty Sessions, on Tuesday the 17th, in which a man named Peter M'Ginley was charged by a bailiff on the Olphert Estate named Conaghan with assault, and in which, on a cross summons, Conaghan was charged by M'Ginley with assault and with having presented a revolver at him and threatened to shoot him, and to the decision of the Court, consisting of two Resident Magistrates, that, though Conaghan's conduct was reprehensible in this case and generally in going about the country with a revolver and threatening to shoot people, M'Ginley should be imprisoned for a fortnight and then be held to bail to keep the peace for 12 months, while Conaghan should be held to bail merely; whether he will direct the attention of the Lord Lieutenant to this decision with a view to the remission of at least the latter part of the sentence inflicted on M'Ginley, who would appear to have acted only in self defence against a murderous attack on his life; whether the bailiff Conaghan was given a licence to carry firearms; and, if so, by whom, and whether his licence will now be withdrawn; and whether, in view of the fact that this is the third instance within a recent period of human life being threatened in the Falcarragh district by persons licensed to carry firearms, a revision of the list of persons so licensed will be ordered with a view to the removal from it of the names of all persons who have abused the privilege conferred upon them, or who have not furnished satisfactory guarantees that they will use the privilege with discretion?


I am informed that M'Ginley was charged at Falcarragh Petty Sessions with a serious assault upon Conaghan, who is a bailiff, by striking him with some weapon upon the head. The evidence (for the defence) put forward by M'Ginley, as to whether the revolver was produced before or after the assault was committed, was, it is stated, very conflicting. It appears, however, as a matter of fact, the revolver was not loaded. The Magistrates made such orders as they considered the merits of the respective cases required. There does not appear to be anything in the decision calling for the exercise by the Lord Lieutenant of the prerogative of mercy. Conaghan has a licence to carry arms for his personal protection, which was issued by the licensing officer of the district. The Magistrates do not appear to have made any representation that the licence should be withdrawn. I will have their opinion asked. No complaints appear to have been received about the improper use of firearms except in one case, and in that the Grand Jury decided that the revolver was accidentally discharged.