HC Deb 07 March 1899 vol 68 c27
MR. YOUNG (Cavan, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the police authority has power to suppress, in Belfast, meetings held each Sunday for inflammatory harangues calculated to disturb the peace of the city, called in following terms: "Mr. Trew at Custom house steps. Subject, First Martyr. Come in your thousands. No surrender;" whether he is aware that all the disturbances at St. Clement's Church have arisen from the declamation of Trew on those occasions; and, will the Government take some effectual measures to maintain the peace?


The police authorities undoubtedly have power to suppress meetings calculated to lead directly to a breach of the peace. Whether Mr. Trew's harangues properly come under that designation, or not, is a question on which there may be possibly some difference of opinion. In any case, these matters involve considerations of degree, and what may be lawful may not always be expedient. I do not think the statement in the second paragraph is accurate; and in reply to the third paragraph the Government have taken, and will continue to take, whatever measures that they deem necessary for the preservation of the public peace.