§ MR. BARTON
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant 1402 of Ireland whether he can give any information to the House with reference to the violent resistance, on Wednesday last, of a tenant named Bridgman, near Mungret, County Limerick, to eviction for five years' arrears of rent; whether he is aware that the agent was struck on the head with an iron bar, the Sheriff tripped up and otherwise obstructed, and two bailiffs wounded; and whether he intends to take any further steps with reference to any of the persons concerned?
MR. J. MORLEY
On the 25th of July, Mr. O'Brien, the landlord's agent, went with Mr. Hobson, the sub-Sheriff, for the purpose of evicting a tenant named John Bridgman, who farmed 31 acres of land near Mungret, County Limerick, at a rent of £31, and against whom a decree for possession for non-payment had been issued amounting to £106. Bridgman gave up possession to the Sheriff, but his son was hostile, and a crowd of about 30 men and women assembled. When the bailiffs put out the goods Bridgman refused to leave, and the Sheriff caught him by the shoulder and pushed him; he resisted, but otherwise the Sheriff was not assaulted. Mr. O'Brien was struck on the head with a bar, and lost blood, but no serious injury was inflicted, and he will not prosecute for the assault. No police protection was requisitioned, but when passing the police barracks a few minutes before the eviction, the Sheriff appears to have asked for protection, which could not be given, as there was only one man in the barracks. A similar request was then made to a barrack in another district, but the police there could not give protection without authority. What occurred was altogether due to the action of the Sheriff in going out to evict Bridgman without sending in a requisition for police protection in the regular manner. The Sheriff subsequently applied for protection in the ordinary way for July 28, and the eviction was duly carried out on that day without any trouble. It does not appear that two bailiffs were wounded, but I have called for further information on this point. Inquiries will also be made as to whether the police have initiated proceedings.
§ MR. BARTON
inquired if it was intended that the benefits of the Eviction 1403 Bill should be conferred on such tenants as these?
§ Mr. J. MORLEY'S reply was inaudible.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
Did not the Sheriff apply for assistance? On what ground was it refused by the police?
MR. J. MORLEY
They did apply for assistance; but, as I explained, there was only one man at the barracks.