HC Deb 07 July 1902 vol 110 cc934-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, during the recent elections at Ennis, Sergeant Cole, of Clarecastle, was removed from duty at the Town Hall in consequence of being in a state of drunkenness, and interfering with can didates and voters; and, seeing that this sergeant also assaulted an inhabitant of the town and one of the candidates, and that during the recent prosecutions under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act against Clarecastle leaguers it was sworn by witnesses that this sergeant was seen in public in a state of intoxication, and that he endeavoured to induce people in Clarecastle to break the windows of members of the United Irish League, what steps, if any, the authorities have taken to investigate these charges.


Sergeant Cole was drunk on duty during the elections at Ennis. For this he was awarded an unfavourable record, and warned for reduction. Similar cases have been dealt with in the same way. Both candidates were interviewed, and both declined to take any action against Sergeant Cole for interfering with them when drunk. No witness at the recent prosecution swore that Sergeant Cole was drunk. Mrs. Normoyle, for whose protection the prosecution was undertaken, proved a hostile witness. The Court of First instance animadverted severely on her evidence. It affords no ground for believing the charge that Sergeant Cole incited any person to break windows.