Wednesday, 27 November 1929
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Briscoe: I rise to ask leave to discuss a matter of urgent public importance arising out of Question 17. The urgency of the matter is this, namely, there is not only danger to a man's life, but to the lives of other civilians being involved as the result of it. The Minister, in answer to Question 17, certainly made it clear that he had not got accurate information in connection with the matter of George Gilmore. He stated that on one occasion when he was arrested he was sent to hospital owing to an epileptic fit. I state that that is not true. I was present in the police station, and it was due to my personal intervention that the ambulance was sent for to take him to hospital in an unconscious condition.
Mr. Briscoe: The urgency is this. I contend that the Minister has not received accurate information in regard to George Gilmore. He did not take the trouble in the matter which I took, and he did not send someone to hospital to inquire, as I did, about the wounds and their dangerous nature. If he followed up the situation he would know that the C.I.D. detain him whenever they see him, and, if he refuses to go with them, knock him on the head, threaten to shoot him, and to shoot anyone in the crowd that gathers.
Mr. Briscoe: I do not want to prophesy that someone is going to be  killed, but I believe, if the matter is allowed to go on as it is going, not only will Gilmore die from his treatment, but that there is a danger of the public getting mixed up in this matter by the C.I.D. firing on them. The Minister wrote me a letter——
Mr. Briscoe: I know the position in Dublin, as I witnessed it myself, and I have taken every precaution to get satisfactory proof of what I have stated, namely, that the C.I.D. are definitely out to provoke a breach of the peace in which one of themselves may be killed, and if they do not succeed in that, they will bring about the death of a number of individuals, one of them being Gilmore.
An Ceann Comhairle: Standing Order 27 contemplates that a motion for the adjournment of the Dáil to call attention to a definite matter of urgent public importance may be made when certain conditions have been complied with. Deputy Briscoe desires to raise the subject matter of Question 17 on the ground, I gather, that the situation is one that would lead to a breach of the peace. The Chair is unable to hold that the matter is one of sufficient urgency to bring it within the terms of the Standing Order. I am refusing to accept the notice.
Mr. Aiken: I would like to put one matter before the Chair. This House, after all, has to stand between the  Executive Council, their officials, and the people as a whole. Deputy Briscoe has got up here and stated that he saw this man being beaten into a state of unconsciousness by the C.I.D. The Minister denies the matter in his usual flippant way, passing it off as a light affair.
An Ceann Comhairle: It is not. I have heard Deputy Briscoe on this question at some length and I do not think that Deputy Aiken can have anything further to say on the question of urgency. I have not accepted the notice that the matter should be raised as one of urgent public importance, and Deputy Briscoe now desires to know whether he can raise it on the adjournment. Three Deputies have given notice that they desire to raise matters on the adjournment. Deputy Boland desires to raise the subject matter of Question No. 13 and Deputy Smith the subject matter of Question No. 16. Now Deputy Briscoe desires to raise the subject matter of Question No. 17.
An Ceann Comhairle: There is no provision in the Standing Orders to say how a decision is to be arrived  at, when more than one notice is given to raise a question on the adjournment. An arrangement has been arrived at, heretofore, by accepting a suggestion of the Chair on the question of precedence. Deputy Boland foregoes his right.
An Ceann Comhairle: The subject matter of Question No. 17 will be raised on the adjournment. If Deputies desire to make any arrangements in regard to the time to be given to the discussion of the matter, they can presumably move through the usual channel to make that arrangement, as it cannot be made now.
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