HC Deb 31 March 1892 vol 3 cc350-1
MR. KNOX (for Mr. M. J. KENNY,) Tyrone, Mid

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that on St. Patrick's night, 17th instant, an Orange band, playing Party tunes, paraded the streets of Portadown, broke the windows of many of the houses inhabited by Catholics, and also assaulted and knocked down several Catholics in Castle Street and High Street; if application had been made to the Divisional Commissioner for a force of extra police in anticipation of disturbances, and refused; and if the police have made any arrests, or have instituted proceedings against persons concerned in the disturbances in question?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers this question I would like to ask him whether the band in question was a flute and not an Orange band; whether it was not the case that no person was knocked down; and whether two panes of glass were not broken at a public-house belonging to a Protestant and two panes at a public-house belonging to a Roman Catholic, thus showing an impartial spirit; and whether the police prosecution was not withdrawn at the instance of Mr. O'Hanlon, a Roman Catholic Magistrate?


I have no doubt the "glass" to which the hon. Gentleman refers had a good deal to do with the whole proceedings. The Constabulary Authorities report that it is the case that on the date mentioned bands played through Portadown, but not through the Roman Catholic quarter. Windows were (as I stated a few days ago in reply to a question put by the hon. Member for South Armagh) broken in six houses occupied by Roman Catholics and in one house occupied by a Protestant. The police did not witness any assaults, nor are they aware of any serious one; but it is alleged that some, apparently of a trifling nature, took place. The Divisional Commissioner and the local Magistrates in consultation decided that there was no necessity to bring a large body of extra police into the town; but the town establishment was strengthened by nine additional police from outlying stations. No arrests have been made, and no proceedings have been taken.