§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to a public meeting, held in Greencastle on 29th July, protesting against the action of the police sergeant who cut the roping of an arch which was in the course of erection on 10th July; and, if so, will he state on whose authority this officer entered the premises of Mr. John Letters, and carried away a ladder, and order a sworn inquiry into the case.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The reasons which influenced the police in preventing the erection of a Party arch on or before Sunday the 12th July, were explained in the answer to my hon. friend's previous Question of the 20th July.† The arch was erected, without interference, on Monday, the 13th July, when the Orange procession took place. No opposition was raised to the removal of the ladder, which was returned on the latter date. The action of the police does not, call for the further inquiry suggested.
§ MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)
May I ask whether the meeting referred to in the Question was not held in the Presbyterian schoolroom. Has the attention of the National Board of Education been called to the action of the managers in lending the schoolroom for the purpose, and, if so, what is being done in the matter?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said the sole question was whether the arch should be erected on Sunday or Monday. The police considered it inadvisable to allow it to be erected on the former day. The holding of the public meeting in the National School has been brought under the notice of the Commissioners of National Education.
§ MR. SLOAN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will explain why the Throne Flute Band which accompanied the Whitehouse Presbyterian† See (4) Debates, cxxv., 1138.1449 Church on an excursion 25th July last, on their return when proceeding to Greencastle Station, were stopped by Sergeant Gallagher and the police from the barracks, and why the sergeant ordered them to draw their batons; and whether he will have this officer removed to another district.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The band did not proceed to its destination by the route arranged, but by way of Greencastle village, where danger of collision with a rival party was likely to arise. The police warned the bandsmen that they would not be allowed to play through Greencastle. They persisted, however, and the sergeant thereupon ordered his men to draw their batons. The bandsmen at this point undertook not to play if allowed to pass through the village. They were escorted through the village by the sergeant and his men, and all passed off quietly. The sergeant displayed much tact on the occasion and it is not proposed to remove him.
In reply to a further Question Mr. Wyndham said the regulations were applied equally to Catholic and Orange bands.