HC Deb 28 May 1908 vol 189 cc1248-9

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that one of the county inspectors passed over in the recent appointment of commandant at the Royal Irish Constabulary depot is a musketry instructor with the Hythe certificate; that County Inspector Foley is the officer who was instrumental in discovering the methods of Sergeant Sheridan in the manufacture of outrages in county Clare; that neither County Inspector Foley nor District Inspector Irwin, who assisted him in bringing to light such nefarious work, were ever in any way rewarded for their meritorious services in connection with this case; and whether his connection with this case was the reason for passing over this county inspector for the commandantship and giving it to a man who was connected with the shooting of persons in county Mayo.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Mr. Ball, who was recently selected to fill the post of commandant and assistant inspector general at the depot was junior on the list of county inspectors to Mr. Foley. The latter officer holds a certificate of musketry from the Hythe School. It is the fact that County Inspector Foley reported his suspicions regarding Sergeant Sheridan, but the main investigation of the case was undertaken by other officers. All the officers concerned simply performed the duties assigned to them, and the case was not one to call for any special reward. There is not the slightest foundation for the suggestion that Mr. Foley was passed over because of his connection with the case of Sergeant Sheridan. As I have already informed the hon. Member, Mr. Ball was appointed to the post because he was considered to be the officer best fitted for it.