HC Deb 17 May 1898 vol 57 cc1540-1
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the report in the Belfast Irish News of the disorderly proceedings in Ballinahinch, county Down, on the day and night of the 12th instant; whether he can state how many houses were attacked, and how many windows were broken by the stones thrown on the occasion; is he aware that among the houses so assailed was the residence of one of the most popular magistrates of the county; whether he can state under what circumstances and by what parties the attacks were made; if he will make inquiry to ascertain the full particulars of the damage done; and whether he can give the number of arrests made from the disorderly crowd?


My attention has been directed to the disturbances at Ballinahinch on the 12th inst. It appears that a large mob, accompanied by some bands, assembled to meet two men of the Orange party, who had been convicted, at petty sessions on the 20th April, of drunkenness and disorderly conduct, and sentenced to a month's imprisonment. These two men, on arrival at Ballinahinch at 9 o'clock on the night of the 12th inst., were carried round the town by the mob, who threw stones at the houses of nine residents, all of whom, with one exception, were Roman Catholics. Windows were smashed in each of these houses, but I cannot say, without further inquiry, which is now being made, how many windows in all were broken, or what is the estimated value of the damage done. I am informed, however, that in the case of Mr. Murray, a Roman Catholic justice of the peace, whose property seems to have suffered most at the hands of the mob, a claim for compensation amounting to £55 will be lodged. One arrest was made by the police on the occasion, and several of the mob have been identified as having taken part in the riot. Proceedings will be taken against these persons at petty sessions to-morrow, and the Crown solicitor has been instructed to conduct the prosecution.


I should like to ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he can explain to the House why such proceedings are allowed to go on at Ballinahinch, when peaceable meetings in county Mayo are dispersed by baton charges?

[No Reply.]

MR. W. REDMOND (Clare, E.)

Can the right honourable Gentleman say if it is the fact that Mr. Campbell, a newly-appointed magistrate, was present with the rioters? If so, will he be required to explain his conduct?


I have no information to that effect.


Will the right honourable Gentleman inquire?

[No Reply.]