§ MR. HALPIN (Clare, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he received a resolution from the Ennistymon Board of Guardians condemning the assault committed on the son of their chairman, Mr. Michael Consedine, county councillor, by the Royal Irish Constabulary, on 18th October, while sitting outside his father's house at Doolin, when forty of the fifty-two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary stationed at Doolin House, which was given to them by Mr. H. V. M'Namara, marched in a body through the public road and batoned every person whom they met; and whether he will have an inquiry made into the conduct of the police, and inform the House who was responsible for this conduct of the police.
§ MR. BIRRELL
A force of fifty police is stationed at Doolin for the prevention of cattle-driving. On Sunday, 18th October, at about 5.30 in the evening, six of the constables, who were off duty, were returning to their station through the village of Roadford. 887 They were wheeling their bicycles at the time, and were not possessed of batons. A crowd of men outside a public-house closed in threateningly upon the police, stones were thrown at them, and the two rearmost constables were set upon. One of them was struck on the head with a stone, knocked down, and kicked. Other constables were also assaulted, and their bicycles were jumped upon and smashed with large stones. One of the men escaped to the station, half a mile distant, and Head Constable Gilliland, at once turned out with twelve men and proceeded to the village, where they were reinforced by several other constables. Stones were thrown at this party, and a constable struck. The head constable thereupon ordered his men to draw batons and disperse the crowd, and this was done; the batons being used with, it is admitted, considerable effect. It is quite possible that during the baton charge through the village one or more innocent persons may have suffered. It was dusk at the time, and the police—who belonged to the Reserve—were strangers to the locality. The police authorities have already fully investigated the entire matter, and I am not prepared to give any further inquiry. I regret to say that the constable who was kicked while on the ground, was ruptured, and has had to undergo an operation in hospital.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Seeing that very contradictory accounts are given, and that the police version is strenuously denied by persons of responsibility, will not the right hon. Gentleman direct an inquiry so as to get at the real facts?
§ MR. BIRRELL
I have no doubt whatever as to the truth of the statement I have given as to the commencement of the affair, and I see no need for an inquiry.