§ MR. VINCENT KENNEDY (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the eviction of Patrick McLoughlin by Mr. James Birney from his shop and premises in Ballinamore on June 25th; will he say whether the sheriff was assisted by police on the occasion, and, if so, how many; did the police actually search the various rooms and out offices; is this bailiff's work done by the police with the knowledge or authority of the Government, and was it part of their duty to re-search the premises after the sheriff had departed, having given possession to Mr. Birney; will he say whether, late in the evening of the same day, a gentleman, who had been on the premises during the whole proceedings, walked out by the front door, and can the police explain how this oversight occurred; and will possession be re-given by the sheriff.
I am informed by the police authorities that on the occasion mentioned two policemen, namely, a head constable and a sergeant, accompanied the sub-sheriff at his request for the purpose of protecting him in the execution of the writ of ejectment. The police did not themselves search the premises, but they accompanied the sub-sheriff while he was doing so. It is the duty of the police to afford full protection to the sheriff. After the eviction the sergeant remained at the door of the premises until a crowd had dispersed, and while there a man who had been unobserved by the sheriff came out of the House. The question whether legal possession was given up to the plaintiff by the sheriff is not one in which the police are concerned.