HC Deb 31 March 1908 vol 187 cc325-6
MR. MULDOON (Wicklow, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, whether the Royal Irish Constabulary authorities have refused to permit the members of that force in Ireland to report as to any cases of infringement coming under their notice of the provisions of closing orders under The Shop Hours Act, 1904, which have been confirmed by the Lord-Lieutenant and left upon the Table of this House; and, if so, whether the time has arrived when the members of that force, who have absolutely nothing to do in many Irish towns, might be utilised with advantage to enforce public health, sanitary, and general statutes, and local by-laws, if not as complainants at least as witnesses on behalf of the local authorities, and thus render some service for the cost the upkeep of the force imposes on the nation.


The facts are not correctly stated in the Question. The police are permitted to assist the local authorities to the extent of reporting any breaches of closing orders which may come under their notice, and instructions, to that effect are issued to them when, application for their assistance is made by local authorities. The police perform a number of duties under the public health and sanitary laws, including the reporting of offences; and in certain cases they take proceedings for breaches of county council by-laws. They cannot, however, undertake to perform all the duties which devolve upon the officers of local authorities in these cases.