HC Deb 02 March 1888 vol 323 cc14-5
MR. P. M'DONALD(for Mr. M. J. KENNY) (Tyrone, Mid)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If 14 persons were summoned before the Dromore, County Tyrone, Bench of Magistrates, and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment (with option of fine) for lighting tar barrels on the occasion of the release of Mr. William O'Brien, M.P. from prison—namely, 21st January; if it is a fact that the police did not intervene until the celebration had proceeded for a considerable time, and then not on the grounds of its alleged illegality, but what they considered its undue prolongation; and, if it was given in evidence by the police that a reason for stopping the bonfire was that the bell of the Protestant Episcopal Church had been rung, in order to bring in an opposing crowd; and, if so, why no steps were taken by the police to bring the persons responsible to justice?

THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN)(who replied) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)

said: I am informed that on the occasion referred to a mob collected and lighted tar-barrels in the public streets. The police were precluded from intervening at at all, as there were only two of them available for duty on the occasion, and they were perfectly powerless in face of the numbers opposed to them. They succeeded, however, in identifying 14 of the offenders, who were subsequently proceeded against by summons, with the result stated in the Question. The police report that on the church bell commencing to ring it was at once stopped at their request.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

Arising out of the answer of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, might I ask for what reason he calls it a "mob," and not a crowd?


Order, order!