§ Mr. NANNETTI
asked the Chief Secretary whether Mounted Sergeant George Talbot has recently been promoted to a head constableship, and transferred from the constabulary depot to Belfast; if he has only twenty-two years' service in the Royal Irish Constabulary; if several other sergeants, senior to him in service and ability, were passed over; whether he never held the position of acting sergeant, but only that of temporary acting sergeant, and was promoted from the rank of constable to sergeant; who conducted the recent examination which resulted in Mr. Talbot's promotion over his competitors and seniors; and what influence was brought to bear to secure Mr. Talbot's various promotions over his seniors in service in the Royal Irish Constabulary?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Inspector-General informs me that Sergeant Talbot, of the mounted force, at the depot, has been promoted to the rank of Mounted Head-Constable, and transferred to Belfast. He has served twenty-two years in the force. In accordance with the regulations and in order to find the most eligible candidate, the first seven eligible mounted sergeants on the seniority list were selected to compete for the vacancy. Of these four were senior to Sergeant Talbot and two junior. Sergeant Talbot obtained first place at the examination, and was, therefore, appointed. The examination was conducted by a county inspector, a district inspector, the veterinary surgeon, and the riding588W master. There is no regulation to prevent a temporary acting-sergeant being promoted directly to sergeant. This man's promotion was solely due to his own merit, and there is no ground for the insinuation conveyed in the last paragraph.
§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether anything can be done by way of pension to assist Michael Hernan, for seventeen years a constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary, who sustained an injury to his back at Killybegs, in June, 1905, while at drill, and was for two months under the care of Dr. O'Donnell, of Dunkineely, and who, owing to this injury, left the force without knowing that he should have taken steps as to pension before resignation; and, as Hernan has never recovered from the injury and is almost unable to work, will the Royal Irish Constabulary authorities allow him some pension notwithstanding the irregularity?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Michael Hernan served in the Royal Irish Constabulary for seventeen years and was discharged from the force on 20th October, 1905, having resigned in order to avoid dismissal. On 16th May, 1905, the ex-constable received a "spinal strain" when receiving instruction in physical drill and was non-effective until 5th June, 1905, but was not afterwards non-effective from this cause. At the time of his resignation he was in the full discharge of his duties, and no question was raised as to his being physically unable to perform them. In the circumstances there is no legal power to grant him a pension from Royal Irish Constabulary funds.