HC Deb 21 July 1902 vol 111 cc778-9
MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in answer to a requisition from the magistrates of Warren-point and Rostrevor for 100 extra police for duty on the 12th July last, 600 police and 200 soldiers were sent to Warrenpoint; and whether he will state the grounds upon which a force, so largely exceeding that considered sufficient by the local magistrates to keep the peace, was employed.

MR. MACVEAGH (Down Co., S.)

With whom, in the event of a serious disturbance, would the responsibility have rested — the local magistrates or the Chief Secretary?


That is a hypothetical question. In reply to the Question on the Paper I have to say that the magistrates at Warrenpoint and Rostrevor recommended a force of 150 police. An officer from headquarters was sent down to inquire on the spot as to the arrangements necessary for the maintenance of good order on the occasion. He received information which made it clear that the extra force suggested by the magistrates would be totally inadequate, and the Inspector General decided that at least 400 police and 400 military for Rostrevor, and 100 police for Warrenpoint, would be necessary. Those forces were accordingly, with the approval of the Government, ordered, and the meeting at Rostrevor having been proclaimed, the Inspector General was of opinion that this force was still requisite for the purpose of enforcing the Proclamation in respect to Rostrevor, and maintaining the peace both there and at Warrenpoint, where a meeting was permitted. He is still satisfied that the course adopted was necessary.