§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, if he is aware that the following cases of police interference with, and intimidation of, street newspaper vendors have occurred in the City of Cork—namely, Denis Desmond (young lad), who refused to sell to a policeman a copy of United Ireland, arrested by Sergeant Kennedy, and detained for a short time in Bridewell; Denis M'Carthy (young lad), refused to sell a copy of The Cork Examiner to Police Sergeant Power, arrested by Sergeant Power, taken to the Bridewell, and detained there for some time; John Radley (young lad), refused to sell a copy of United Ireland and Cork Examiner to policeman, arrested by Sergeant Power, taken to Bridewell, and detained there for some time; Cornelius Coakley (young lad), arrested for refusing to sell to policeman a copy of United Ireland and Cork Examiner by Sergeant Power, taken to the Bridewell, and detained there for some time; Patrick Bradley (young lad), arrested under circumstances similar to the above by Sergeant Power; Patrick Carleton (young lad), refused to sell a copy of Cork Herald to policeman, arrested by Sergeant O'Leary, and lodged in Bride-well for some time; Michael Murphy (an old man of 70), he refused to sell a copy of the Examiner to policeman on beat, and the policeman kicked the old man's box about, scattered his papers, cuffed the old man, and warned him against selling the newspaper; and, whether, in view of these occurrences, he will order an independent inquiry into these matters?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
A man named Denis Desmond, described as a porter, and who was a considerable time ago a newsvendor, was arrested by Constable Lambert on a charge of drunkenness, and subsequently committed to prison in default of payment of a fine of 5s. Denis M'Carthy and John Radley were arrested by Sergeant Power, not for refusing in either case to sell a copy of any newspaper, but for street obstruction and refusing to move on. Cornelius Coakley does not appear to have been arrested at all by Sergeant Power. He was, however, summoned by Constable Barber for stone-throwing in the streets, and fined 5s. Bartholomew (not Patrick) Bradley was arrested, not by Sergeant Power but by Constable Donoghue, for street obstruction, and discharged at the police-court with a caution. Patrick Carleton was not arrested by Sergeant O'Leary, nor can his arrest for any offence be traced. Michael Murphy states that some time ago a policeman gave his box a kick without any cause, but did not touch himself, and that it had nothing to do with the sale of a paper to the policeman. None of the persons named were, therefore, arrested in connection with the sale of, or refusal to sell, the papers, but for other offences; and on the occasion of two of these persons being before the police-court, one of the Local Justices is reported to have said that—He took that opportunity of stating that the misconduct of newsvendors in the streets of the city was becoming intolerable, and should be put a stop to.
§ MR. FLYNN
said, arising out of the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, if he laid before the right hon. Gentleman affidavits by the following persons with regard to certain circumstances, would he then undertake to institute the independent inquiry which he had asked for—namely, that Denis Desmond, mentioned in this Question, refused to sell a copy of a newspaper to the constable mentioned. The constable said to him—"I will make you give it. Come along with me." He then took him into custody, and on the way to the Bride-well he asked him—"Will you give me the paper before I put you in?" and having taken the boy as far as the Bridewell he then released him. The 579 affidavit also of John Radley, 17 years of age, who has been selling papers in Cork for a number of years, stated that he was arrested by Sergeant Power, also mentioned in the Question, because he refused to sell him a copy of The Cork Examiner. He was arrested and taken to the Bridewell.
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member is now exceeding the limits of a Question. He is simply making a counter statement.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, he should be delighted to consider any information the hon. Member laid before him.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, it was a well understood definition; but he did not like to give any express meaning to it.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast W.)
said, with reference to the reply of the right hon. Gentleman that these arrests were made for street obstruction, he wished to ask him if it were not the fact that the question of obstruction of the streets had been always left by the Authorities in the hands of the Corporation of Cork; and, also, whether it was not a fact that the arrests on various pretences of men and boys selling newspapers had only begun since the right hon. Gentleman desired to suppress the sale of certain newspapers in Ireland; and, further, whether the arrests of newspaper vendors in Ireland had been discontinued or not?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, he did not quite catch the drift of the Question. He apprehended that it was the duty of the police to see that street obstruction did not take place.