§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can explain the circumstances under which Detective-constable John Cosgrove, of Belfast, was discharged on pension from the police force; whether any charge was preferred against him; and, if so, whether any and, if so, what opportunity was afforded him of meeting the charge; whether Cosgrove was entitled to his maximum pension if he had been allowed to remain in the force twelve months longer; whether it was charged against him that he had no cases for the preceding twelve months; whether men are still in the service in Belfast who had no cases for double that period; how long was Cosgrove on the promotion list; why was he not promoted; why was he appointed to the crime special staff if unfit for promotion; did any prejudice exist in the minds of his superior officers towards him and whether he will have special inquiries made into this case.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Constable Cosgrove, who had served for upwards of twenty-eight years, was reported by his superior officers as being inefficient and unsuitable for further police duty, and the Inspector-General in pursuance of his statutory powers, called upon him to retire on pension. The constable was not charged with any offence against discipline. If he had remained in the force until he had served for twenty-nine years he would have been entitled to his maximum pension of £46 16s. per annum, which is but 9s. 5d. per annum more than that actually awarded to him. It was not charged against him that he had no cases 612 during the preceding twelve months. He was at one time on the promotion list, but was passed over by the late Commissioner in 1905 as being unfit for promotion. It was the same Commissioner who appointed him to the crime special staff, presumably because he considered him suitable to be tried in that capacity. No prejudice existed against the constable in the minds of his superior officers. No further inquiries seem to be necessary.