HC Deb 20 July 1876 vol 230 c1627

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the eminently satisfactory condition of the borough of Dundalk and the county of Louth, both as regards offences against the person and property, as evidenced by the calendar of prisoners, the constabulary returns of crime, and the charge of Mr. Justice Fitzgerald to the grand jury of the county of Louth on the 11th instant, that— The detailed reports laid before him presented a very gratifying aspect as regarded the county of Louth, for they showed that during the five months that had elapsed since the last assizes only four cases of crime had been reported. I can only express a hope that the county will establish for itself and maintain permanently the character it now deserves of immunity from crime; and, whether he is prepared, in view of the foregoing circumstances, to revoke the Proclamation placing the borough of Dundalk and the county of Louth under the provisions of the Peace Preservation Acts?


In reply to the Question of the hon. Member, I have to state that I believe that the Charge of Mr. Justice Fitzgerald to the Grand Jury of the county of Louth at the Summer Assizes notices the satisfactory condition of the county with regard to ordinary crime; but it must be remembered that the statements contained in the Question of the hon. Member do not exhaust the reasons for which proclamations under the Peace Preservation Act have been imposed, and which must not be forgotten in considering the propriety of maintaining them. However, last Spring the Irish Government caused inquiry to be made as to the necessity for continuing the Proclamation in county Louth, but the result did not, in the opinion of the Government, justify its withdrawal. I am quite ready to undertake that the matter shall again be considered, and I think it will be admitted that the Government have shown that they are not anxious to maintain these Proclamations where they can properly be revoked.