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Dublin Disturbances

Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 28 July 1914

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether it is a fact that two constables of the Dublin Metropolitan Police have been dismissed the force for alleged disobedience of an Order to disarm the Irish Volunteers at Clontarf on Sunday last; whether they were dismissed by Sir John Ross a short time before he himself resigned the office of Chief Commissioner of Police in consequence of the action of the police authorities on the occasion mentioned; whether the order which the two constables are alleged to have disobeyed was given by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, who has himself been suspended for, amongst other things, giving such an order; and whether, under the circumstances, the dismissal of the two constables will be cancelled?

Owing to the occurrences some of which are referred to in the question, I cannot answer by whom the two constables were dismissed. Two men were dismissed for disobedience to orders at Clontarf. The question of the employment of the military does not affect the obligation of constables to obey their superior officers. I cannot say anything further on the matter.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in most of the newspapers published this evening, the statement is made that the dismissal was ordered by Sir John Ross?

I do not know whether that statement is true or not, but they were dismissed for disobedience to orders. The question of the wisdom or prudence of the requisition by Mr. Harrel of the military in no way affects the obligation of constables to obey orders.

Then those two constables are to be victimised and to be the only victims?

Are two constables of the Dublin Metropolitan Police not every bit as much entitled to have consciences of their own as soldiers of the British Army?