HC Deb 04 August 1904 vol 139 cc955-6

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to what took place at Milford on the return of the Bishops of Ossory and Galway, Clogher, Raphoe, Achonry, Elphin, and Meath, with other ecclesiastical dignitaries, from the celebrations at Armagh on the evening of 24th July; if he can state what occurred at Milford; what provision was made by the police authorities for the protection of visitors on the occasion; and whether a prompt inquiry will be made into the matter.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) My attention has been directed to a complaint that on the 24th July stones were thrown at two of the carriages containing ecclesiastical dignitaries, when passing through the village of Milford. It has also been represented that a revolver was fired behind one of the carriages. Special precautions had been taken by the police for preservation of the peace on the occasion, and the road was patrolled by a number of additional men detailed for the purpose. It was understood beforehand by the police authorities that the carriages would return together, and arrangements were made for the provision of a travelling escort of four men on a car to accompany the carriages. They did not, however, return together, and consequently the escort was unable to accompany each carriage or group of carriages. The police at Milford did not observe the stone throwing, which occurred after darkness had set in, and when attention was drawn to the matter every effort was at once made to trace the offenders. Active inquiry is still being pursued. The incident is much to be regretted.