HC Deb 31 March 1887 vol 313 cc60-2
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he can state how many members of the Royal Irish Constabulary were hit with stones or missiles during the disturbances at Lurgan on the 16th August last, and how many of these were assaulted by the Orange mobs; whether Sergeant Hudson of the County Cavan Police and two constables, who were placed on guard to protect the property of a Catholic merchant (Mr. Donnolly) were armed with guns or batons; whether these policemen were so fiercely attacked by the mob that Constable Clarke was rendered unfit for duty and had to be removed to lodgings; whether Constable Dunbar, a Lurgan policeman and a Protestant, who knew the people, was among the mob at the time when Sergeant Hudson and his men were endeavouring to drive them back; whether Constable Dunbar loudly called upon Hudson not to baton the people, and by his conduct encouraged the crowd to continue their assault on the police; whether Constable Dunbar or District Inspector Bigley prosecuted any of the members of the mob; whether Sergeant Hudson reported Constable Dunbar for insubordination and for having used, in the hearing of a stone-throwing mob, language calculated to incite the mob to renewed attacks on the police; whether the same Constable Dunbar was one of the witnesses who gave evidence against the Catholics, sent to prison for riot, at the last Armagh Assizes; whether, after Sergeant Hudson had reported Constable Dunbar, charges were preferred against himself by District Inspector Bigley; whether Mr. Bigley ever committed these charges to paper, or persevered in attempting to prove them, or otherwise gave Sergeant Hudson an opportunity of disproving them; whether Sergeant Hudson, time after time, sought to have an inquiry into the matter; why this inquiry was not granted by the Inspector General; whether there is any objection to produce the Correspondence on the matter; whether Mr. Bigley is the same District Inspector who attacked and knocked down the Catholic drummer at M'Gerron's Corner, and who gave orders to the police to fire at a Catholic crowd, in what he swore to be "an exclusively Catholic street," in Lurgan, on the 1st instant; whether he can state, on further inquiry, if this Catholic drummer was a rioter, as previously alleged; and, if so, whether he was prosecuted and convicted, and what sentence was imposed upon him; and, whether the Government will cause an inquiry to be made into the origin and cause of the riots at Lurgan on the 1st instant and in August last, also into the conduct of the police in connection therewith, and as to the best means to be adopted for preventing a recurrence of same?

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

said, before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question, perhaps he would allow him to ask him whether he would be prepared to institute an inquiry into all the disturbances which had taken place in Lurgan since the Act of Union, and indicate which political and religious Party had been the cause of the disturbances?


As regards the Question of my hon. Friend who has just sat down, which relates to the last paragraph of the Question, I have to say that the Government see no cause to institute an inquiry as to the origin and cause of the riots which have occurred in Lurgan recently, or on any previous occasion. I think that the hon. Member who put down the Question would feel that to give a detailed answer to it would unduly press on the time of the House. If he will permit me to send him a Memorandum on the subject, perhaps that will satisfy him.

In reply to Mr. M'CARTAN,


said, he would send the hon. Gentleman the Memorandum to-morrow.