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Controversial Case of Constable Anderson Reaches a Conclusion in Limerick | Limerick Gazette Archives

Controversial Case of Constable Anderson Reaches a Conclusion in Limerick

In a recent parliamentary session, the case of Constable Anderson, a former member of the Irish Constabulary, was discussed. The Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland provided insights into the grounds for Anderson’s dismissal, the inquiry process, and his subsequent reinstatement in the force.

Constable Anderson faced three charges, including improper entry into licensed premises, using obscene language towards a boy, and engaging in grossly immoral conduct with a young woman. Following a Court of Inquiry, the first and third charges were found to be sustained, while the second charge was not supported. The Court of Inquiry was initiated by the police themselves and not by the Chief Secretary or Sir Antony MacDonnell, contrary to some suggestions.

Under the law, members of the Royal Irish Constabulary serve at the pleasure of the Crown and can be dismissed without cause assigned. The Court of Inquiry, although not a judicial body, functions as a council to assist commanders in arriving at informed conclusions. In this case, fresh evidence was later presented by Constable Anderson’s solicitor regarding the most serious charge. The evidence included a certificate signed by two doctors indicating that the young woman involved was a virgin months after the events described. This new evidence led to a reexamination of the case.

After careful consideration and consultation with the Inspector-General, the Chief Secretary made the decision to reinstate Constable Anderson based on the belief that the evidence, when considered in its entirety, supported a more favourable interpretation of his actions. The Chief Secretary took full responsibility for the decision and deemed the certificates from the two doctors as sufficient reasons to reassess the case.

When questioned by Mr Dillon about the need for another Court of Inquiry, the Chief Secretary stated that he believed the certificates provided substantial grounds for reconsideration. He acknowledged that he did not personally meet or examine the doctors but maintained his confidence in their existence and credibility.

The details of who initially raised the complaints against Constable Anderson were not disclosed during the parliamentary session. However, it was emphasized that the representations made, regardless of the source, were considered in the decision-making process.

The discussion surrounding Constable Anderson’s case came to a close during the parliamentary session, with further inquiries deemed unnecessary. The Chief Secretary’s decision stood, ultimately resulting in the reinstatement of Constable Anderson in the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Kerry News – Wednesday 30 November 1904