HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc194-5
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, "Whether, during the recent riots in Lurgan, District Inspector Bigley assaulted and knocked down a Catholic drummer at M'Geown's Corner, Lurgan, and struck the drum with a blackthorn stick after the drummer had fallen; whether the assault was committed before Mr. Bigley had given orders to the police to fire, and whether the drummer was doing anything illegal at the time; whether Mr. Bigley swore at the magisterial investigation that Shankhill Street, into which the police fired by his order, was an exclusively Catholic street; whether there was any opposing crowd in the street at the time of firing; and, whe- ther Mr. Bigley took the advice of, or had any communication with, the Resident Magistrate in charge of the district before he gave the orders to fire on the people?


During the riots referred to, a drumming party was endeavouring to force its way into a hostile district. The police, in endeavouring to prevent them, were severely stoned. The District Inspector may, in self-defence, have struck one of the rioters, or knocked another down; but it is right to say that at the Assizes now proceeding 16 of the rioters were fried and 14 of them convicted, and that at no time during the trial was any act of imprudence or illegality imputed to the police. The answer to the third portion of the Question is yes, and to the fourth portion, no. The Resident Magistrate was five miles away on the occasion of the riot, and, therefore, could not be consulted.


Can I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether or no the drummer assaulted by the Inspector was charged with any illegal act?


I presume he was part of the crowd who were acting illegally.


I shall put a further Question on this subject.