§ MR. ROSS (Londonderry)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that 14 summonses were issued in connection with the attack recently made upon the police at Gweedore; that of the 14 persons summoned to appear before the Court, only four appeared, of whom one was convicted; that the cases against the 10 persons who disobeyed the summons to appear were adjourned till next Court day; and that at the adjourned Sessions all the summonses were withdrawn; and how many persons were engaged in the attack on the police, and how many have been made amenable?
§ MR. DANE (Fermanagh, N.)
At the same time I will ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will explain why the summonses issued against 30 persons engaged in a murderous attack on the police at Brimlech Mountain, Gweedore, County Donegal, resulting in the death of Sergeant Gunn, were withdrawn at the recent Petty Sessions at Bunbeg; and are further proceedings contemplated?
MR. J. MORLEY
Summonses were issued against 14 persons in connection with the attack made upon a process-server and the police near Gweedore on March 29 last. Four of the defendants appeared at Bunbeg Petty Sessions on April 30, one of whom was convicted on two separate charges of common assault and sentenced to concurrent terms of six and two months' imprisonment respectively; the cases against the other three defendants who appeared were dismissed by the Magistrates. The remaining cases were adjourned till the next Petty Sessions, on May 14, when, in the absence of the defendants, the proceedings were withdrawn. The Crown had no alternative but to adopt this course under the circumstances. The defendants had not been identified as having committed the offence with which they had been charged, so that the necessary information could not be made of the complaint within the meaning of the 11th section of the Petty Sessions Act to enable the issue of warrants to arrest. The crowd which attacked the police numbered from 300 to 400. No arrests were made, and the only proceedings taken were those which I have described. I am informed by the Inspector General of Constabulary that there are no grounds whatever for the allegation that the death of Sergeant Gunn was in any way attributable to the attack on the police on this occasion. The sergeant became non-effective on April 27 and died on May 7. A medical certificate given on the date of his death states that he was "suffering from influenza, accompanied with delirium." As no other person can be identified as having taken part in the attack, no further proceedings can be taken.