§ MR. DILLON
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland a Question, of which I have given him private notice—(1) whether a meeting announced to be held on Sunday last at Knox, Killassar, county Mayo, was prohibited by the police authorities; (2) whether the Killassar band and a number of people who were proceeding in the direction of the meeting were charged by the police, who broke the instruments of the band and dispersed the people; and (3) I also desire to ask the right hon. Gentleman on what grounds the meeting was interfered with?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
It is the fact that a meeting announced to be held at Knox, Killassar, county Mayo, last Sunday was prohibited by the police authorities. But I do not think it is quite correct to say, as the hon. Gentleman says, that the Killassar band and a number of people who were proceeding in the direction of the meeting were charged by the police, who broke the instruments and dispersed the people. What occurred was this. A large crowd assembled accompanied by two bands. They were warned that the meeting was not allowed to be held, and, disregarding that warning, they were dispersed, and in the mélee the drums were smashed. [Laughter.] As regards the last part of the hon. Gentleman's question, the meeting was interfered with because it appeared from evidence on oath that its object was to advocate boycotting and intimidation. Therefore, the result of the meeting would have been a serious disturbance of the peace. [Ministerial cheers.]
§ MR. DILLON
I wish to know on whose responsibility was the meeting interfered with? The right hon. Gentleman stated, in reply to my Question, that it was interfered with by the police authorities. But was the Castle consulted?