HC Deb 07 March 1887 vol 311 cc1386-7
MR. BLANE (Armagh, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If District Inspector Bigley, at Lurgan, on the 1st instant, ordered the police to fire down Shankhill Street, on a Catholic crowd, without any necessity at the time, without the Riot Act having been read, and without magis- terlal authority, though a magistrate's residence was within 100 yards of the place; whether a young married woman, standing at her own door, was shot; and, if so, by what authority; whether Sub-Inspector Bigley is the same officer who refused to allow the police last June to fire when Orangemen were wrecking the houses of Catholics, when a large amount of property was destroyed; and, if the Government will order an inquiry into the conduct of the Constabulary since 1st of June 1886?

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. HOLMES)(who replied) said (Dublin University)

The police in Lurgan on the occasion in question were ordered to fire on a riotous mob, and they fired four shots. This order was not given until the police had been themselves both stoned and fired on by the mob, and their action had the effect of immediately restoring order. No serious injury, as far as it can be ascertained, was caused by the fire of the police; but 27 of the latter were struck and wounded with stones, some badly. It is not the intention of the Government to order such an inquiry as is suggested.


What authority had the police to fire? Was the Riot Act read?


No, Sir; the Riot Act was not read, because there was no magistrate present; but it was a matter of urgent necessity, and the Constabulary were quite within their rights in firing.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked the tight hon. and learned Gentleman to answer the third paragraph in the Question.


Sub-Inspector Bigley was Sub-Inspector in June last as well as at the present time; and as far as any inquiry has been made with reference to last June, Sub-Inspector Bigley was found to have discharged his duty. I need hardly remind the hon. Gentleman that the present Government was not in Office until two months after wards.