HC Deb 24 February 1904 vol 130 cc854-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the late Sergeant Straghan, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, Belfast, passed through all the offices of the Donegore True Blue Masonic Lodge, No. 92, including that of worshipful master, was in high rank as a Companion of Royal Arch Chapter, 97, and was one of the founders and first secretary of Symon's Masonic Lodge, No. 278; whether he can state if any of his superior officers who recommended the late sergeant for promotion were members of any of these Lodges, or whether any constables who served under him were members; and whether, in view of the fact that membership of this society may be subversive of discipline in the Force and is repugnant to the majority of the Irish people, he will issue instructions to the Royal Irish Constabulary on the subject.


The hon. Member has forwarded to me a newspaper report of the death of this member of the Force. The report eulogises the late sergeant, who is stated to have enjoyed the highest reputation as a peace officer for the honourable and independent discharge of his duties. The suggestion that he secured special privileges because he was a Mason is without foundation. Members of the Constabulary are allowed to attend Masonic meetings provided their absence does not interfere with the performance of their public duties. It is not proposed to issue instructions such as are suggested in the Question.