HC Deb 09 August 1898 vol 64 cc660-1
MR. M'GHEE (Louth, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the conduct of County Inspector Reeves, who, on or about the 18th May, 1898, paraded the men in Cavan barracks, and, having addressed them about the stigma which attached to all the men in the barracks owing to some one of them having stolen a comrade's purse, said he felt it to be his duty to make a search of some of the men; whether he called out a sergeant and two constables, and searched them in the presence of their comrades and of the barrack servants without finding any evidence whatsoever to connect them with the theft; whether, subsequently, a charwoman was tried and convicted of the theft; whether he will state by what authority Inspector Reeves made such a search; and. What reparation, if any, has been made to these men?


The facts of this case are, shortly, as follows: a constable stationed at Cavan reported he had left a purse containing over £6 on a form in the barrack kitchen, and that it was not forthcoming the next day. The county inspector thereupon, very properly, assembled the men together, and told them that the larceny of the purse reflected discreditably upon the station, and that in the interests of the men themselves, as well as in order to clear them of suspicion, he felt it to be his duty to examine the boxes of three of the men who had been in the kitchen on the night of the occurrence, provided they gave their consent. This consent was readily given, and the boxes were examined in the presence, not of the three men's comrades, as alleged, but of Mr. Reeves, the district inspector, and the head constable. Subsequently one of the barrack servants was arrested and convicted of the theft. The action of the county inspector, under the circumstances of the case, was perfectly justifiable. The men suffered no indignity whatever; no reparation has been made to them, and none is called for.

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