HC Deb 29 June 1893 vol 14 cc346-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that on the 22rd June a constable named Hooke arrested a prisoner for drunkenness in Castleblayney, County Monaghan, but failed to obtain any assistance in securing the prisoner from a crowd which gathered; whether he is aware that when the constable appealed to a Magistrate, Mr. R. Pringle, who was present, that gentleman, instead of assisting Constable Hooke, denounced his conduct, and declined to assist the constable; and whether such conduct in a person holding the Commission of the Peace will be taken notice of by the Lord Chancellor?

MR. O'DRISCOLL (Monaghan, S.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a learned Judge, in a judgment at Lifford on the 20th instant, stated that a constable was not justified in arresting a man for being simply drunk; and consequently was not the Magistrate, in refusing to assist in this case, acting in strict conformity with the law?


I think that judgment was in reference to a case other than the one mentioned in the question. The hon. Member for South Belfast seems to have been very inaccurately informed. It is a fact that the arrest was made as stated; but it is not a fact that the constable failed to obtain assistance as alleged; on the contrary, he was assisted by a civilian who was in the crowd. [Mr. JOHNSTON: Later on.] The constable did not call on Mr. Pringle, J.P., for assistance, nor did that gentleman denounce the constable; as a matter of fact, the Magistrate sent one of his own men to the police barracks for help, and, moreover, at Petty Session on the 27th instant, was one of the Magistrates on the Bench who inflicted on the prisoner a fine of 40s.


I am glad to hear it. Will the right hon. Gentleman say what he considers to be getting "simply drunk?"

[The question was not answered.]