HC Deb 25 May 1905 vol 146 cc1373-4
MR. KENDAL O'BRIEN (Tipperary Mid)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the proceedings at the inquest held on the body of William Fryday, at Ballyduagh, county Tipperary, on the 22nd day of April last, at which the son of deceased, Francis S. Fryday, swore that his father told him before his death that the police took off his boots whilst in the lock-up at Thurles on the 15th April on a charge of drunkenness and hit him under the eye with one of his boots, and that he was also knocked against the wall, and that he was taken by the police from the lockup to an out-house in the barrack yard in his stockings, and that his request for a magistrate to be sent for was refused, and to the evidence of the doctor, examined at the inquest, that deceased came by his death through peritonitis, following rupture of the spleen, caused by external violence, and that Constables Vaughan and Barrett, who assisted Constable O'Connell to take deceased from the lock-up to the out-house in the yard, were not examined at the inquest; and whether an inquiry will be ordered to be held into the allegations that the cause of the death of the deceased was his ill-treatment by the police.

(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) I have received a report from the police authorities to the effect that on the 15th April last William Fryday, while in custody in the lock-up of the police station in Thurles upon the charge of being drunk and incapable on the public street, created a continuous uproar by shouting and kicking the door of his cell at a time when a magisterial investigation was being conducted in the station. It was found necessary to remove his boots and transfer him to another portion of the building. He resisted violently, and in his struggles struck his head against the door post, cutting his eye. He was discharged from custody later upon the same day, when, for the first time, he complained of having been ill-treated by the police. He asked to see the head constable, who was then absent, but refused to wait for his arrival. Fryday died on the 21st April, and, as the result of a post-mortem examination, the jury at a coroner's inquest found that death was due to peritonitis, resulting from rupture of the spleen The police proved that no violence was offered to him, and that at no time did he request to see a magistrate. The three constables named in the Question were present at the inquest, but the coroner and the jury intimated that they did not require their evidence, all the facts having been proved by other witnesses. Under these circumstances, I see no ground for imputing any blame to the police, and no necessity for further inquiry.