§ MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state how many years a policeman must serve before he is entitled to retire on a pension; whether he is aware that within recent years many policemen have retired from the police force in County Longford at a comparatively early age, and without sufficient cause as to physical unfitness to continue doing duty; whether such vacancies are being 271 filled by recruiting, contrary to the promise of his predecessor in office in June, 1896; and whether there is any power to prevent the crowding of Irish small towns with police pensioners, many of whom are fully competent to continue discharging the duties for which they enlisted.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Twenty-five years, unless incapacitated in the meantime by sickness or injury. Eight men have retired on pension in the county of Longford during the past two years. Such vacancies are filled by recruiting. No promise was given in 1896 of the nature indicated. Constabulary pensioners, like other members of the community, are at liberty to reside where they like.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL
The question on the Paper is not in the form in which I handed it to the clerk, and does not now convey my meaning. I wish to know whether in the case of the men who have been superannuated the authorities were satisfied that they were incapacitated from further service by illness or any other cause.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Yes; and it has been fulfilled. The Royal Irish Constabulary establishment is lower now than then.