HC Deb 07 February 1881 vol 258 c265

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether it is true that on Thursday, January 27th, several respectable shopkeepers of Buttevant, county of Cork, were prosecuted by the police for having their licensed houses decorated on the 1st day of January instant, on the occasion of the land meeting held there on that day; whether the offence alleged consisted of the display of flags and banners; whether on previous occasions, such as the marriage of the daughter of Lord Doneraile, and the county elections, the same persons had not exhibited flags and banners for which no prosecution was instituted by the police; and, whether the case was tried by the resident magistrate and a landlord magistrate, who decided to make "no rule" upon the summonses?


Licensed publicans are prohibited by statute under penalty from displaying from their licensed premises any flag or other decoration except the usual sign of the house. On the occasion in question several publicans in Buttevant displayed flags and other decorations, and were cautioned by the police that they were violating the law. Some of them accordingly removed their decorations; but five refused to do so, and were summoned to Petty Sessions. For the defence it was contended that it was a common thing for publicans to do without objection; and the occasion of the marriage of the Hon. Mrs. Fitzpatriek, Lord Doneraile's daughter, six years ago, was relied on as an instance. The Bench, consisting of two magistrates, one of whom was the resident magistrate, pronounced their decision to be "no rule." There was no other prosecution than that of these five publicans.