HC Deb 30 July 1894 vol 27 cc1241-2
MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to the fact that, in consequence of an alleged assault about the ownership of land, a warrant was issued by the Resident Magistrate in Tulla, County Clare, for the instant arrest of a young man of respectable family named O'Dwyer, who was brought three miles from his home and harvest work to give bail for his appearance; whether in the County Limerick revolver-firing case the Resident Magistrate suspended the warrant of arrest against a bailiff until the day of Petty Sessions; whether in the Birr military case no warrant was issued by the Resident Magistrate against the officers charged with assaulting females, but issued a summons; is there any regulation to secure uniformity of practice in these cases; and do the Government intend to take any notice of the Resident Magistrate's action in Mr. O'Dwyer's case, whereby a young man, who was ultimately only put under a rule of bail, and that against the protest of some of the Local Justices, was taken from his harvesting and subjected to inconvenience?


The facts are stated with substantial accuracy in the question. It is desirable, but difficult, to secure uniformity of action, as it is in the discretion of the Judges to whom a complaint of an indictable offence is made to issue a warrant on sworn information, or a summons. That discretion would be more wisely exercised by issuing a summons where there is no apprehension of the accused absconding. In the case referred to in the last paragraph it seems clear that the proceeding by warrant and arrest inflicted unnecessary hardship, though I am informed the only local Justice present neither protested nor dissented as alleged. The matter will receive my attention.