§ CAPTAIN DONELAN (Cork, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that a man named Patrick Keating, of Kylmoracy, county Tipperary, was recently charged at Carrick-on-Suir Petty Sessions, with firing, with intent to injure, a girl named Hannah Hickey, while she was standing at her own door, and that the evidence disclosed that Patrick Keating carried the gun along the public road although possessing no licence to carry arms; that, notwithstanding the fact that the Chairman stated that it was clear from the evidence the shot was fired with the intention of frightening the Hickeys, the District Inspector of Constabulary, who conducted the prosecution, informed the Magistrates that he would not ask them to return the defendant for trial, and that the Bench consequently refused informations; and, whether the Crown will take steps to have the defendant duly tried for the offence with which he was charged, and will also take proceedings against him for carrying arms without a licence?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The substance of the charge against Keating is correctly stated in the Question. There was, however, no evidence adduced that he fired at the girl or at any other person. The complainant was unable to say that the gun was directed at her, and she refused, moreover, to swear that Keating fired at her. In the absence of such proof the Magistrate declined to send the case for trial, but, in view of the fact that it was proved the man had discharged his gun on the public road, they placed him under a rule of bail to keep the peace. The Crown, under the circumstances, do not propose to take any further steps as suggested. The question of instituting proceedings against the man for keeping a gun without a licence is now being considered. He is duly licensed to carry a revolver.