HC Deb 12 July 1888 vol 328 cc1089-90
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Secretary of State for War, with reference to the recent attack made by a number of men of the Fifth Battalion Royal South Down Rifles on a Catholic juvenile band at Downpatrick on Friday evening last, Whether his attention has been called to a letter from Colonel Waring, which appeared in The Scotsman of the 5th instant; whether, considering that Colonel Waring, who is in command of the regiment, asserts that only "30 or 40" men were present, that "no one was hurt," and that "the whole affair was most trivial," and considering that by the police report there were 150 present, and that one of the bandsmen "received a cut on the nose," and considering that on the Sunday following it was deemed necessary to hold a meeting of the Catholics of Downpatrick to protest against such repeated conduct on the part of the Militia, he will send an officer to Downpatrick to hold an impartial inquiry into the true origin of and the circumstances in connection with the unlawful attack made on the bandsmen; and, whether he is aware that about three years ago Colonel Galbraith was sent by the War Office to Downpatrick to inquire about an attack made by the regiment on the houses of Catholics at Downpatrick, when he assured the Catholic clergymen there that no repetition of such conduct would take place?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

, in reply, said, that as the affair in question lasted under one minute, and the only result was that one man had a small cut on the nose, and as the facts were all known, it seemed to him absolutely ridiculous to hold a further inquiry into the matter. With regard to the last Question, an inquiry was held by Colonel Galbraith as to whether the men of the Irish Rifles and Militia generally had created the row, and the result went to show that the whole affair had been much exaggerated.