HC Deb 03 April 1905 vol 144 cc96-7
MR. KENDAL O'BRIEN (Tipperary, Mid.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland is he aware that on the night of October 3rd last an emergency man named Denis Connolly, of Borrisnoe, was caught in the act of stealing cabbage from the haggart of Daniel Greed residing near the same place; that he was accompanied by Constables Neary and Buckley; that Constable Buckley subsequently asked the Greeds to say nothing about the occurrence, and, on being refused, threatened them; that, a few days later, Head Constable Fallon came to the Greeds, and under the pretext of an investigation obtained from Cornelius Greed a statement of the facts; and that the magistrates at the trial, where Connolly pleaded guilty, expressed their opinions that these constables should have been brought forward as witnesses, and for their production adjourned the trial for a fortnight; and, if so, will he say what order was subsequently made in the case of Connolly, were the constables produced at trial, was any investigation held, and where are those constables stationed at present; and will he take steps to hold an investigation into all the facts of the case.

(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) The facts, as I understand them, are briefly these: Connolly entered the land of Greed, and pulled two cabbage plants. Connolly is under personal police protection, and at the time of the occurrence was six or eight yards in advance of his escort (Constables Neary and Buckley). The larceny took place at 9 o'clock on a dark night, and the constables had no reason to believe that Connolly entered the field for the purpose stated. Constable Buckley did ask Greed not to prosecute Connolly, but no threats were used as alleged. The Head Constable subsequently, in the discharge of his duty, called on Greed in order to investigate the facts, and Greed voluntarily stated the facts. When the casa came before the magistrates on October 24th, they adjourned it for the attendance of the constables. The constables were examined at the adjourned hearing, and Connolly was fined 10s. and costs, and also ordered to pay 2d. compensation for the theft of the cabbage. The constables are now stationed in the Roscrea district. The matter was very fully considered by the Inspector-General and by my predecessor in December last, and it was decided that no further investigation was called for.