HC Deb 17 April 1896 vol 39 cc1157-8
MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) of the 50 sergeants of the Royal Irish Constabulary who passed an examination before the Civil Service Commissioners in June 1895 for the rank of head constable, how many were allowed to compete in professional subjects in January 1896; (2) were 13 of those sergeants informed in November 1895 to hold themselves in readiness for the latter examination; and, if so, by what process was the number increased to 27 on the 7th January; (3) how long were those 27 in the service and in the rank of sergeant; (4) were they taken from the top of the list, and were they senior to other sergeants who had passed; (5) are Roman Catholic head constables and sergeants only allowed to remain four years at the depot, and does this rule apply to other denominations; (6) who is responsible for the classification of recruits for the Royal Irish Constabulary, and how many of the staff in the Commandant's Office are Roman Catholic; and (7) what is the proportion of Roman Catholic to Protestant recruits appointed since this Government took office and for the same period in the late Administration?


The reply to the first paragraph is 24. Selections were not confined to the men who had passed the qualifying examination in June 1895, as other sergeants in. the force were similarly qualified. In November 1895, 22 sergeants (not 13, as stated) were informed of their selection for competitive examination in professional subjects. The additional five men were selected in. the same manner as the others. The period of service of these 27 men in the force ranged from 13 to 25 years, and in the rank of sergeant from 3 to 12 years. The men were selected from the list, which was an alphabetical one, solely on the ground of merit as policemen. Seniority was not an element in the selection. The rule as regards the term of service at the depot is applied irrespective of the question of religion. The Commandant is the officer responsible for recruiting; one of his clerical staff is a Roman Catholic Since the present Government acceded to Office the ratio of Roman Catholics to Protestant recruits appointed has been 4.66 to 1; and during the corresponding period in the late Administration the ratio was 4.78 Roman Catholics to 1 Protestant.

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