HC Deb 01 March 1897 vol 46 cc1332-3
MR. W. ABRAHAM (Cork, N.E.)

On behalf of the hon. Member for East Limerick (Mr. J. FINUCANE), I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is a ware that negotiations are proceeding upon the estate of Captain Coote, Mount Coote, county Limerick, which are confidently expected to end in the restoration of the evicted tenants on this property to their homes; (2) if he will cause inquiry to be made into the conduct of Sergeant J. O'Brien, of Kilmallock, who is trying to persuade one of the tenants named O'Connell to sell the goodwill of his holding for £150; and (3) if this police sergeant will be instructed that it is no part of his duty to interfere in any way between evicted tenants and their landlords in the matter of pending settlements?


I have no knowledge of any negotiations, as alleged, between the landlord of this estate and the tenants who are out of possession. With regard to the second and third paragraphs, it appears that Sergeant O'Brien, at the request of O'Connell, an evicted tenant, spoke to the agent of the estate in O'Connell's behalf, and the result of the sergeant's mediation was that O'Connell received the sum of £150 for the goodwill of his holding, from which he was evicted upwards of 14 years ago. O'Connell has thanked the sergeant for his good offices and expressed his satisfaction at having this sum of money in his pocket. The sergeant did not exceed his duty in this case; what he did was at the instance of and with the consent of the parties, and by his action he has succeeded in bringing about a settlement which is apparently as satisfactory to all concerned as it is in the interests of peace.


Are we to understand that the Constabulary in Ireland are to act as mediators between landlords and evicted tenants in the matter of pending settlements?


No, Sir, that would not naturally be part of the official duty of the constable. But when a constable has succeeded in bringing the parties together, as in this instance, I do not think he ought to be blamed.