MR. CLTANCE (Kilkenny, S.)
asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether, by statute or otherwise, Resident Magistrates in Ireland are entitled to prevent bands playing in the public streets, on the grounds that the persons forming such bands are about to attend a meeting in another town or place;and, whether the possibility of such persons attending an illegal meeting at a future time renders their conduct illegal, and entitles the police to disperse them?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. HOLMES) (Dublin University)
The hon. Gentleman asks me for an abstract legal opinion, which it is impossible for anyone to give. Magistrates, by the Common Law, would, under certain circumstances, be entitled to disperse a band playing in the public streets, and such a right has often been exercised by them to the great advantage of the public peace. The fact that the persons composing the band are proceeding to attend a mooting in another place may afford legal grounds for the magistrate causing them to disperse;but each case must be judged of by its own circumstances.