HC Deb 19 April 1904 vol 133 cc666-8

On the Motion for the adjournment of the House,

MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)

desired to bring to the notice of the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant a matter of urgent moment. It was reported that last night an organised Orange mob assembled in the town of Lisburn, county Antrim, attacked the Catholic presbytery, smashed the windows of Catholic traders, and behaved in a most scandalous fashion towards the inhabitants of the town. He desired to know what was the nature of the police arrangements on that occasion, and whether the Chief Secretary would give some promise that the police would be instructed to prevent the recurrence of such disorder, and that adequate protection would be given to peaceful and law-abiding citizens from organised mobs of Orange roughs.


replied that he had seen a newspaper report stating the facts mentioned by the hon. Member, but he had no other information and it was necessary for him to make inquiries. No doubt there had been very regrettable incidents connected with the playing of the game of hurley on Sundays. Some people thought it right to take recreation on Sundays, and others thought, it was wrong. Both were entitled to their views, but it was certain that nobody was entitled to interfere with the liberty of other subjects of His Majesty, and whoever did so broke the law. He should not care to enter into the matter to-night, but he would press investigation further.


desired to know whether the Chief Secretary had received any official report on the matter and, if so, what it contained.


said he had only seen a report of last night's disturbances in the Westminster Gazette, but in reference to Questions asked by the Member for South Tyrone he had collected information respecting the disturbances on Sunday. He had no official information on last night's disturbance. If the facts were as reported there had been an unwarrantable attempt to interfere with the liberty of some of His Majesty's subjects to spend Sunday as they pleased. He would see that adequate police protection was afforded.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

said these disturbances were a serious matter. People on both sides were entitled to a quiet life, and unless there was adequate police protection these riots would go on with serious results.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

asked what steps had been taken to send an adequate police force to Lisburn. In his opinion nothing had been done to secure the preservation of the peace, and he would like to remind the right hon. Gentleman that had similar disturbances been created by Catholics in the South of Ireland, thousands of police would have been sent down to break their heads. Yet in the North no protection was given to Catholics when they desired to indulge in a game of hurley.

MR. SHEEHY (Meath, S.)

regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had not given the House more information.

Adjourned at twenty-six minutes before Two o'olock.