HC Deb 27 August 1907 vol 182 cc391-2

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Captain Robert Leslie, D.L., Tarbert, county Kerry, obtained the assistance of Sergeant Curran and two constables of Tarbert police station to evict a woman named Murray from her house in the village of Tarbert; that the police, headed by Sergeant Curran, obtained sticks and broke open the door and windows of this house and evicted this woman without producing a warrant or any order of a court of law; that Sergeant Curran summoned Miss Murray for assault on the occasion and the resident magistrate, James W. Flanagan, dismissed the case and stated that the sergeant acted perfectly illegally in carrrying out an eviction without producing a warrant, or in aiding or assisting the bailiffs; and will the Forces of the Crown be in future refused Captain Leslie in carrying out such proceedings.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Captain Leslie obtained from the magistrates in petty sessions a decree for possession of a small tenement which was in the occupation of Mary Murray, and the warrant was addressed to the police under the provisions of the Statute 14 and 15 Vic, c. 92, Section 15, Subsection 3. Mary Murray resisted the execution of the warrant, and the police therefore forced open the door. It is the fact that Sergeant Curran prosecuted Mary Murray for assault, and that the resident magistrate dismissed the case on the ground that the warrant was not produced. No reference, however, was made to bailiffs, for no bailiffs were concerned in the matter. The police have no option but to execute warrants for the possession of small tenements when such warrants are addressed to them under the Act quoted.