§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for what purpose and at whose suggestion a force of twenty police under Sergeant M'Dermott of Walfhill and Sub-inspector Hickey from Ballylinan 368 was assembled and placed in the immediate neighbourhood of a meeting of farmers at the Swan, near Walfhill, on Sunday, the 22nd instant, in connection with the establishment of a creamery on the co-operative dairying system; whether Government note-takers were also present, and whether he has ascertained anything which could justify this police demonstration; and from what fund the expense of the presence of the police for the day will be defrayed?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. JACKSON,) Leeds, N.
The facts are substantially as they are given in the question. The police had reason to believe that a meeting would be held for the purpose of intimidating a man who had taken an evicted farm; but that belief, happily, proved to be unfounded.
§ MR. O'CONNOR
I should like to ask upon what information the police in Ireland act in a case of this kind. I would draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the notice of the meeting [producing a large poster for the inspection of the House]. It was called for the sole purpose of establishing a creamery, and the police could not have had the slightest evidence to justify them in taking the course they did.
§ MR. JACKSON
The police do not, of course, wish to interfere with the establishment of a creamery, and as I have already stated, their anticipations as to the nature of the meeting proved to be unfounded.