HC Deb 20 April 1910 vol 16 cc2274-5W

asked the Chief Secretary whether the constabulary authorities in Ireland have yet decided what disciplinary measure will be taken as regards the action of Sergeant O'Sullivan, of Bally-duff, county Waterford, in making a charge, which was afterwards withdrawn, against Maurice Feeney; if not, whether, before doing so, they will also inquire into the circumstances of the recent arrest by him of a man named Patrick Stack on the charge of having broken the windows of the house of a man named Shanahan; whether he is aware that it is alleged that the windows were broken on Sunday night, and that Patrick Stack was arrested on the following Tuesday while at his work and was handcuffed and brought several miles to Lismore, when he was discharged and a summons directed to be issued against him; whether Shanahan failed to appear and the summons was dismissed, and 2s. 6d. expenses awarded to Patrick Stack; whether the constabulary authorities will inquire whether it was reasonable to arrest a respectable man on a trivial charge which there was no evidence to support at petty sessions; whether an information was sworn before the arrest of Patrick Stack; and, if not, what is the explanation of his arrest?


I am informed by the constabulary authorities that the first of the two cases referred to is still under investigation. As regards the other case, a wanton attack was made on Shanahan's house by two men who, on being refused admittance, broke twenty-two panes of glass and damaged the window frames. Shanahan informed Sergeant O'Sullivan that he was prepared to swear that Stack was one of the men, and the sergeant, after inquiry as to Stack's movements on the night in question, arrested him and brought him 'before a magistrate at Lismore. As he is a powerful man he was handcuffed. The magistrate discharged him from custody and directed Shanahan to take out a summons. Shanahan did so but failed to appear at the hearing, and the magistrate marked the case "no appearance," and allowed Stack 2s. 6d. expenses. No information had been sworn at the time of the arrest. The charge cannot be said to have been a trivial one, but the Inspector-General considers that the sergeant acted somewhat hastily and will caution him accordingly.