MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Williams, appellant, Mr. W. H. Lang-horne, District Inspector Royal Irish Constabulary, respondent, tried by Judge Fitzgerald at the last Quarter Sessions in Kilkenny, which was an appeal against a conviction of Williams for alleged drunkenness by the Castle-comer Petty Sessions Court, on the prosecution of Sergeant Donovan, Royal Irish Constabulary; is he aware that it was proved, on the hearing of the appeal, that Williams called on Mr. Langhorne by his request; that as Williams was leaving he was arrested by Mr. Langhorne's orders, on the ground that he was drunk; also that Williams, on 1259 his way to visit Mr. Langhorne, called at the police barrack for Sergeant Donovan, who accompanied him, and who, on their return half an hour later, arrested him for drunkenness; whether he is aware that Judge Fitzgerald, in reversing the conviction, said that the man was in his own house; that it was now alleged by the sergeant that he saw Williams was drunk, but notwithstanding that brought him out; that supposing Williams was drunk in his own house he could be as drunk as he liked there, but being taken out on to the public street, where he would be guilty of a public offence, he was given into custody, and that the Court did not believe the statement; and, whether, in view of the reversal of the conviction and the terms of the judgment, he proposes to deal in any way with the prosecutors, so strongly censured by Judge Fitzgerald, or to give any compensation to Williams for his arrest and imprisonment?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
My attention has been drawn to a constabulary report of the facts of this case, and as I understand that Williams contemplates taking civil proceedings against Mr. Langhorne, it would clearly be undesirable to discuss the matter at the present stage or to express any opinion on his action. If it should transpire that Williams has been ill-treated he must look for compensation to the District Inspector, and not to the Government, who cannot accept any responsibility in the matter.