§ MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the organised attack made by 300 men of the 5th Battalion Royal South Down Rifles on a Catholic Juvenile Band, at Downpatrick, on its return from an excursion to Newcastle, On Friday evening last; whether he is aware that the Constabulary did not appear until the Militia were actually driving the bandsmen back towards the Railway Station. How many of the Militiamen engaged in this attack were arrested by the police on this occasion; whether any Report has been received from Colonel Waring, who is in charge of the regiment, as to the conduct of his men on the evening in question; and, whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into the origin of the attack, and into all the circumstances in connection with it?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
One hundred and fifty Militiamen, not 300, did attack a band at Downpatrick. The band does not appear to have been a juvenile one; but to have consisted of a very rowdy set of grown up persons. The police protected the bandsmen as well as they could; but were unable to identify any of the Militiamen, who were strangers to them. The attack did not last for more than a minute. None of the bandsmen were severely injured, and the newspaper accounts appear to have been greatly exaggerated. Questions relating to the conduct of the Militiamen should be addressed to the Secretary of State for War.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
inquired, whether the police were ordered not to arrest the Militiamen in cases of the kind referred to; and whether it was not a fact that these attacks have not been of unusual occurrence?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, that the police had not received orders of the nature suggested in the Question of the hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. SEXTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps in future to prevent a repetition of these attacks?