§ MR. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the Police Report upon which he grounds his refusal to grant compensation to the tenant upon the De Freyne estate, from whom certain goods were taken by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary; whether the refusal is chiefly based upon the inability of the parties to identify the actual individuals by whom the property was taken; whether he will take into consideration the difficulty of such identification where most of those engaged on the eviction were strangers; and whether he will reconsider his decision if affidavits on the subject are placed before him?
MR. J. MORLEY
It would be contrary to precedent to lay upon the Table the Report referred to in the first paragraph of the hon. and learned Gentleman's question. The charges preferred against the police were that they had burned the turf belonging to some of the evicted tenants on this estate, and used the hay and straw of others for bedding-The District Inspector inquired into the matter in November last, and two of the women who made charges—namely, Bridget and Mary Moran—acquitted the police of having stolen their turf, hay, and straw. These women, moreover, 1531 signed a statement to this effect which was taken down by the District Inspector. On November 11 the police gave to Mary Moran some turf as an equivalent for what she had given them. They gave her a quantity, if anything, somewhat more than she had given them, which she was reluctant to receive. A third woman—Anne Moran—also signed a statement that she made no charge of larceny against the police. A further charge of larceny was preferred by another woman —Mrs. Cahilan—but this on being: investigated was also disproved. The Report which has been made by the Divisional Commissioner in this matter, after a careful investigation on the spot, satisfies me that there is no foundation for the charges brought against the police; if, however, the hon. Gentleman has any fresh evidence to adduce in support of these charges, I shall cause further inquiry to be made.