Public Business.

Wednesday, 27 November 1929

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 32 No. 10

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Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert 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.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Deputy is now going into the matter itself.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert 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.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Deputy is again going into the matter itself.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  I do not want to prophesy that someone is going to be [1467] 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——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Deputy had better keep to the point as to why he should get leave to raise this matter rather than now go into the merits of the case.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert 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.

Mr. Hogan:  Will the Deputy give a list of the people who are likely to be killed?

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  I will give you the name of one individual whom it is desired to kill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  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. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  I cannot go against the ruling of the Chair, but in view of that ruling I ask permission to raise the matter on the motion for the adjournment this evening.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  I would like to put one matter before the Chair. This House, after all, has to stand between the [1468] 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.

Mr. Hogan:  On a point of order, what is the relevancy of the Deputy's speech?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I thought Deputy Aiken was putting me a point of order, but what he has said is not in any way relevant to a point of order.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  As regards the question of urgency?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That is a point of order of course.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  I am saying that this matter seems to me to be a matter of great urgency and of the utmost public importance.

Mr. Hogan:  On a point of order, is it in order after you have ruled on this question of urgency for a Deputy to make a speech on that point?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  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.

Mr. Boland:  I am prepared to stand down in favour of Deputy Briscoe.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  There is no provision in the Standing Orders to say how a decision is to be arrived [1469] 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.

Mr. Boland:  For this evening.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Deputy Smith's notice would then seem to be the more urgent.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  I am also willing to leave over the matter I wish to raise, for this evening.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Then Deputy Briscoe will be in a position to raise the question he desires on the adjournment.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Could we get an undertaking that no further assault will be committed on George Gilmore before this evening?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Does the Minister say “yes”?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Deputies cannot ask questions which in fact contain accusations.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Minister said “yes.”

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Could it be arranged, in view of the importance of this matter that the Dáil would adjourn at 9 o'clock and give us an hour and a half to discuss this question?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That is not a matter for the Ceann Comhairle.

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  I submit that there is a precedent in the matter, that we did that when the Government desired to discuss a paving contract.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It is a matter for the Government, not for the Ceann Comhairle.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Private members' time commences at 9 o'clock, and we would be willing to give private members' time to the discussion of this matter.

Major Cooper: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  May I say that other Deputies have claims on [1470] private members' time? If Deputy Dr. Ryan's motion is not proceeded with, I have a right to go on with mine.

Mr. Boland:  You are always the man in the gap.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  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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