HC Deb 10 July 1902 vol 110 cc1387-8
MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether, having regard to the uniformly orderly conduct of the Orangemen of Armagh, he could state on what grounds the Orange Demonstration, for July 12th, had been prohibited from taking place at Rostrevor, and would the Government acquiesce in the proposal to hold it at Warrenpoint, and take steps to prevent Nationalist interference with the meeting.


said he had also given the Chief Secretary private notice of a Question on the same subject. He wanted to know why it was not practicable to prevent Nationalist disturbers of the peace from entering the town in the same way that Orangemen, on another occasion, were prohibited entering Donegal.

MR. LEAMY (Kildare, N.)

Is it not the case, that last July it was necessary for the Rostrevor Catholics, by ringing the chapel bell, to summon Catholics to their aid to defend the convent from the attacks of Orangemen?


said the notices of questions only reached him as he entered the House, and. he had not had time to make a study of them. The Government had taken the action they had done because the Lord Lieutenant and himself held that Rostrevor was not a suitable place for an excursion of the kind proposed, and they had arrived at that conclusion after a study of what took place at Rostrevor last year. After all what had been done was only an extension of the power, frequently exercised, of preventing processions going down particular streets. It was only a reasonable extension of that practice to say that an excursion should not go to a particular place where there was likely to be a breach of the peace. That was the principle on which they had acted. He had only just received a copy of the proclamation. It was doubtful whether it would cover a meeting on the further side at Warren point. But it was almost a physical impossibility to stop an excursion train at any other point before Warren point was reached. A meeting could be held at Warren point, but only on the condition that the procession did not advance in the direction of Rostrevor. People going there must proceed individually, and not with bands and banners in procession.

*MR. ARCHDALE (Fermanagh, N.)

asked whether he was to understand that if, on an Orange meeting being advertised for a certain place, the Nationalists chose to call an opposition meeting, the Orange meeting would be proclaimed.


replied that no such general deduction could be made. The Government action had been dictated by considerations as to the peculiar fitness of the place for a meeting.