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Royal Irish Constabulary

Volume 65: debated on Thursday 30 July 1914

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether any of the gratuities awarded in the year 1913–14 out of the Irish Constabulary Force Fund, benefit branch, went to the families of officers; if so, will he state their number, rank, and amount; the number of deceased men to whose families gratuities were awarded, with the amount, and the principle on which the distinction was made, if any?

During the year 1913–14 the following gratuities were paid from the benefit branch of the fund: £606 to the representatives of a deceased Assistant Inspector-General, £613 in the case of a county inspector, and £647 to the representatives of two district inspectors. Sums amounting to £13,772 were also paid to the widows and children of 145 other deceased subscribers. No distinction was made in the mode of calculating the grants to the families of officers and men.


asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware of and will explain the charge of £193 18s. 3d. charged in the last year against the benefit branch of the Irish Constabulary Force Fund for compiling statistics?

The Inspector-General informs me that this payment was made to certain members of the staff of the constabulary office for overtime work in preparing extensive statistics of the benefit branch transactions, covering a period of thirty years, required by the National Debt Commissioners. The payment has been charged to the benefit fund with the approval of the Irish Government and the Treasury, and in accordance with a precedent of 1878, supported by legal opinion.

How does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile that payment out of the fund with the statement made in this House that the fund could be administered without expense to the subscribers?

Well, so far as there is a charge of this kind, it has to be paid in some way or other. This expense in connection with the working of the fund is a charge which properly falls on the fund.


asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the action of Sergeant O'Connor, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, Roscommon, in searching a consignment of bottles packed in canvas and straw on the premises of Mr. Beades, licensed vintner, Roscommon; whether he had any warrant to search the premises or to inspect these packages; whether he had any special instructions from the police authorities to act in this manner; if so, at whose instance the warrant was granted or the instructions given; and if instructions will be given in future to the policemen and other members of the constabulary force to discharge their duties in such a manner as will be within the law and inoffensive to the people?

I am informed by the police authorities that on the 21st instant Sergeant O'Connor saw five bales of goods lying on the street outside the door of the publican mentioned, and the sergeant, suspecting that the bales contained arms, asked the publican to open them so that he could search them. The publican refused, but told the sergeant that he could come into his yard and search a similar bale. This the sergeant did, and found nothing but empty bottles. No warrant was issued and the sergeant had not received any instructions, but acted on his own initiative.