HC Deb 14 March 1884 vol 285 cc1534-6

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Under what authority did the police authorities stop two and a-half per cent. from the payment of the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1836 to 1883; when was it discovered that this was illegal; what became of this money; if the stoppage was illegal are the Government prepared to refund the money with interest to the men who earned it, and in case of death to the next of kin; what fund was created by this money and is it still in existence; is it a fact that members of the Royal Irish Constabulary are entitled to one-third of all fines imposed on persons under the Summary Jurisdiction Act in which they are prosecutors; was this third taken from them about 1838–9; was this money put into the same fund with the two and a-half per cent. deducted from their pay; what became of it and to what purpose is it appropriated; and, is it a fact that all fines imposed on members of the Royal Irish Constabulary from the formation of the force for breaches of regulation, &o. was put into the same fund as the two former items; and, if not, to what purpose was it applied, and what is the amount up to the present date?


The stoppages made from the pay of the Royal Irish Constabulary on account of superannuation and the Police Reward Fund between 1836 and 1883 were in strict accordance with the Acts of Parliament in force at the time. They were, therefore, never illegal. There never was any accumulation on account of the superannuation deduction. On the contrary, the sum was always insufficient, and was supplemented by Parliament. Since 1866 there has been an accumulation arising from the deduction on account of the Police Reward Fund, supplemented by portions of fines in certain cases in which the police are prosecutors, and by any fines imposed on members of the Force for breach of regulations. The sum thus accumulated is about £105,000, and it is available for the purpose indicated by the Statute regulating it (29 & 30 Vict. c. 103, s. 9). It is liable for rewards to deserving members of the Force, and for gratuities to the widows and children of about 4,000 pensioners on their decease, and of men who may die in the Service. Men who joined after the passing of the Constabulary Act of last Session are not liable to any deduction on account of this Fund, nor are they or their families entitled to benefit from it. As regards the appropriation of fines to this Fund, the facts are that no member of the Force, as constituted in 1836, has, or ever had, any personal interest in, or right to, any portion of a fine imposed in a case prosecuted by him; nor is the Force as a body entitled as of right to portions of fines, except in certain cases of conviction for drunkenness in towns. Portions of fines may be awarded to the police by magistrates, and all portions of fines, however arising, have from the first been payable to the Police Reward Fund, pursuant to 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 13, s. 9.