HC Deb 08 April 1884 vol 287 cc23-4

(for Mr. O'BRIEN) asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, How many searches for arms have taken place in the counties of Fermanagh and the proclaimed portions of Tyrone since their proclamation under the Arms Act, and with what result; how many resident magistrates' licences for arms have been granted in these counties; how many of the licensed persons are Protestants, and how many Catholics; and, whether, having regard to the fact that hundreds of revolvers were fired off in the landlord meeting at Rosslea, and to the statement that "sackfuls of revolvers" were brought to the meeting at Dromore, any steps have been, or will be, taken to disarm the Orange Association in these counties?


Sir, there have been no searches for arms in Fermanagh and Tyrone, as the having of arms in houses is not prohibited. The licensing officer for Fermanagh informs me that he has granted 475 licences—365 to Protestants and 110 to Roman Catholics. He mentions that the application for licences from the Roman Catholic parts of the county are comparatively few. He gives the respective numbers, as his personal belief that the religion of applicants for licences is not recorded. The licensing officer of the Dungannon end of the County Tyrone states that he granted, in all, 477 licences. He cannot distinguish as to the religious persuasions of the recipients. I have not yet received a Return for the Omagh district. The licensing officer for that portion of the county has been on duty in Dublin and away from his records. It is not intended to take any action "to disarm the Orange Association" in either Fermanagh or Tyrone, as is suggested in the Question of the hon. Member.