HC Deb 03 August 1916 vol 85 cc506-8
7 Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he has information of the clothes, watch, valuables, papers, and other effects which were on the person of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington when he was murdered by Captain Colthurst on 26th April in Dublin; why were none of these things returned to Mrs. Skeffington till 6th May; why, when Mrs. Skeffington asked for her husband's walking-stick, was she first put off by the statement that the Royal Irish Rifles had taken it as a souvenir to Belfast, and only obtained it on the 6th June; whether he is aware that the doctor who took the ring from the hand of the murdered man only returned it to the widow through Major Moule on 23rd May; why were the papers in the pockets of Mr. Sheehy-Skeffington and the badge on his coat never returned to his widow; whether the projected inquiry will allow sworn evidence being submitted to explain these facts; (2) whether he is aware that two days after the murder of Mr. Sheehy Skeffington the Royal Irish Rifles raided the house 11. Grosvenor Place. Rathmines, Dublin, and took away a large amount of documents, books, household and personal effects; by whom was this raid ordered on the house of Mr. Skeffington, who was murdered on 26th April by Captain Colthurst; whether Captain Colthurst was in any way connected with or responsible for this raid; (3) whether he is aware that on 28th April, two days after Mr. Sheehy-Skeffington was murdered, men of the Royal Irish Rifles raided his dwelling and took away among other things a picture of historic value, the Kilmainham roll of honour; whether he is aware that Mrs. Sheehy-Skeffington was told by a detective on 9th June that he had seen the picture at Richmond Barracks on the previous day; why, when papers and other things were returned to Mrs. Skeffington on 10th or 12th June, was this picture not returned with it; whether this picture, which was returned on 20th July, was regarded as suspicious or seditious; (4) whether he is aware that two days after the murder of Mr. Sheehy-Skeffington, on 26th April, his house was raided and his papers taken away; why was this raid ordered; whether it was necessary, in view of Mr. Sheehy-Skeffington being already two days dead; whether he will inquire why amongst his effects when returned were a number of soldier's clothes, Sinn Fein documents, and blood-stained garments, which are asserted to have been placed there in order to throw suspicion on an innocent murdered man; and (5) whether he is aware that Mr. Sheehy-Skeffington was murdered on 26th April and Captain Colthurst court-mar-tialled on 6th June; why, though Mr. Skeffington's widow was told that his papers were irrelevant and quite tiresome to go through, they were detained when she asked for them; why, on applying after the court-martial, were they sent from Richmond Barracks to Dublin Castle and not returned to her; why, when she applied at Dublin Castle, was she informed that they were not there; why, after several days and visits to Major Moule, the detective department, and Mr. O'Brien, was Sergeant Hearn told to look for the papers and other property; whether Mrs. Skeffington was then told that they were back at Richmond Barracks; and whether he will make inquiries into the delays and excuses of the officials who were applied to in vain for the missing papers?


I have no definite information on the various detailed points-raised in these five questions, but I presume that the majority, if not the whole, of them could properly be brought up before the inquiry which is referred to in the latter part of Question No. 7. In these circumstances it has not been thought necessary to call for a detailed report on those matters.