I feel, sir, that it would be the unanimous wish of every member of the Dáil that a very sincere expression of sympathy should be conveyed on behalf of the Dáil to the relatives of the two officers who have lost their lives in so gallantly doing their duty. I ask the President to see that the necessary steps are taken to convey the sympathy of the Dáil in the matter.
BARRACK RAIDS. - SYMPATHY OF DÁIL WITH RELATIVES OF VICTIMS.
I am very pleased to hear that expression of opinion from Deputy Mulcahy. I had intended to be in a better position to-morrow to deal with the history of the two Guards in question. I had hoped then to make a reference to it. I believe Deputy Mulcahy has given expression to an opinion which is in every citizen's mind, that is every citizen except those who took part in the occurrences in which the Guards lost their lives. I think every citizen feels a pride in the way in which these young men do their duty and in the splendid tradition under which the Gárda Síochána have carried on in spite of extraordinary difficulties during the last four or five years. Every citizen, I think, feels confident in appealing to any one of them in any matter connected with his duty. Personally I would like to pay a tribute to the extraordinary courage of these men.
On the morning following these outrages, the Commissioner was out from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. He had issued instructions that motors were to be stopped all over the country and in the short distance of twenty miles he himself was held up eight times. It takes considerable courage on the part of men to stop a car when perhaps they know full well that some of the passengers are armed. One of the incidents which I had intended to describe to-morrow occurred in Midleton last week, where four men passing in a motor car were held up. They refused to halt and drove on. Fortunately the railway gates were closed against them and they turned back. An unarmed Civic Guard then mounted the footboard and held on until the driver pulled up. In that car a revolver was found under the seat. I do not think too much can be said of the great courage and the great devotion to duty which have been shown by these men and I am very glad of the opportunity which Deputy Mulcahy has given to us of expressing to the relatives of the deceased men our very sincere regret that such valuable lives have been lost.
As an opponent of this Bill, I wish to be associated with the expression of sympathy. I have nothing to say against the Guards. On the contrary, I have the highest of praise to give to them. I opposed the Bill but certainly I condemn the crimes that have been committed.
I noticed in this morning's paper that it was the intention to give this Guard who was murdered in Cork a public funeral. I am perfectly sure that every public representative in Ireland and every honourable man would like to attend the funeral if he were in a position to do it. I would like to know if any announcement will be made here that would give these people an opportunity of attending and paying a tribute to the men who have been so foully murdered. Every honourable and decent man in Ireland was shocked and ashamed to read of these outrages on Monday.