HC Deb 21 February 1902 vol 103 cc723-4

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, on the evening of the 6th instant, after the declaration of the result of the East Down Election, a farmer, named John Burns, living in Woodgrange, Downpatrick Police District, when lighting a bonfire on his own lands was molested by a party of men belonging to the Local Orange Lodge, who endeavoured to extinguish the fire and insulted John Burns and his wife, whilst some of the party fired shots from revolvers over John Burns' house; will he state what proceedings, if any, have been instituted by the police for the prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators of this action, who are well-known; and what precautions have been taken to ensure the protection of John Burns and his wife from further molestation.


This incident has been exaggerated. A few boys, whose ages range from ten to seventeen, attempted to extinguish the bonfire. Mrs. Burns alleges that one of them used abusive language towards her at a distance of 150 yards. Mr. Burns was not molested in any way. He stated to the police that he had done a silly thing in lighting the bonfire. He desires that no further notice should be taken of the affair. There is no evidence that shots were fired. No proceedings are called for on the part of the police, as suggested, and no special precautions are necessary for the protection of Mr. Burns, who is popular with his Protestant neighbours.