In a recent Commons debate, Mr O’Shaughnessy brought up the issue of police outrages in Limerick, specifically the case of Mrs Quinlan, a resident of Lough Hospital County in Limerick, whose hay was burnt by Sergeant Sheridan and Constable Keegan. Mr O’Shaughnessy inquired if Mrs Quinlan received any compensation for the damages caused by the police and whether measures would be taken to refund taxpayers who were levied for the crime committed by the two officers.
The Chief Secretary responded that Mrs Quinlan had, indeed, received compensation amounting to £50. However, he added that although it was known that Sheridan had falsely accused Bray of the crime, there was no evidence to prove conclusively that Sheridan and Keegan had committed the act themselves. Furthermore, he mentioned that it would be difficult to identify and reimburse the ratepayers who had contributed towards the compensation nearly four years ago.
During the debate, Mr O’Shaughnessy asked if the local bodies that had paid compensation to Mrs Quinlan would be reimbursed by the government for local purposes. The Chief Secretary agreed that it would be fair to refund them. However, he insisted upon obtaining satisfactory proof that Sheridan was indeed the one who committed the crime before moving forward with reimbursement. He promised to make inquiries into the matter in due course.
The exchange between Mr O’Shaughnessy and the Chief Secretary was not without contention, as the Speaker had to interject multiple times to maintain order during the debate. At one point, Mr Delaney loudly demanded information regarding whether Sheridan had received any financial compensation for leaving the country. The Speaker intervened, declaring that the topic was not appropriate for the current discussion, and called for order.
Another contentious moment arose when Mr Sheehan, inquired if the Chief Secretary would investigate whether Sheridan had committed perjury. Once again, the Speaker stepped in to maintain order, reminding everyone that the question at hand was not directly related to the agenda.
The debate concerning the police outrages in Limerick and the compensation for Mrs Quinlan highlighted the need for accountability and transparency in law enforcement. It also raised important questions about the responsibilities of the government in addressing crimes committed by police officers and the appropriate measures to take to ensure that justice is served and the affected parties are fairly compensated.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 23 April 1902