HC Deb 03 December 1906 vol 166 cc548-9

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland by whose orders the police at Stoneyford, county Kilkenny, are acting as caretakers of an evicted farm on the Glauntha estate of the Rev. Mr. Prichard, from which Mr. Richard Reddy was evicted; whether extra police have been. added to the station at Stoneyford for that purpose; whether he is aware that cattle supposed to belong to the owner or occupier of the said farm did damage by trespassing on the corn crop of a neighbouring farmer, named Lee; that, for the purpose of recovering compensation for this damage, Lee demanded the name of the occupier from the police, and was refused; and whether he will order that Lee and others who may suffer from such trespass as in this case will be allowed an opportunity of recovering damages.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) I am informed by the Inspector-General that the police do not act as caretakers of the farm referred to, though they frequently patrol near it for the preservation of the peace. No extra police have been sent to Stoneyford station for any purpose. In June last Mr. Lee reported to the local police that some cattle had trespassed on his cornfield, and asked the police for the name of the owner. The sergeant informed Mr. Lee that he should make his complaint to the owner's herd, adding that the police did not interfere in disputes as to trespass. The Inspector-General informs me that the sergeant's action was proper, as it is not the duty of the police to supply persons with material for civil proceedings. If such proceedings were instituted upon information furnished by the police, they might become involved in matters which do not concern them.