§ MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the recent riots and destruction of property in Ballinahinch, county Down, is he aware that on Tuesday last informations were refused by the Ballinahinch magistrates at petty sessions against the accused caught in the act of rioting, although Lieutenant-Colonel Bowlby 581 R.M., vehemently protested against this decision; and whether, considering the unrest and state of terror caused by the rioters in Ballinahinch, the Government will consider the desirability of directing the resident magistrate to take informations now, and send them forward to the coming summer assizes?
§ MR. ATKINSON
At the request of my right honourable Friend I will reply to this Question. I am aware that the informations were refused as stated, but the accused, with, I think, three exceptions, were bound over to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 12 months—a result which might possibly conduce to quiet as much as a trial. Colonel Bowlby dissented from his colleagues, though I am not aware whether he protested against their decision. Only yesterday I called for a full report of the proceedings, pending the receipt of which I cannot give any reply as to whether any further action be advisable or not.