HC Deb 23 June 1904 vol 136 cc980-1
MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state the number of prosecutions that have taken place because of proceedings in connection with the various religious services held at the Custom House Steps, Belfast; what has been the cost of maintaining the police force on the occasion of such meetings to protect the various sectaries against one another; whether, in view of the fact that the meetings are held on Government property and of the scenes of riot and disturbance which take place every Sunday, he will give an order to the proper authorities that collections at these meetings be disallowed on the same grounds as they are disallowed in Hyde Park.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) Fifteen such prosecutions have been instituted. The police employed on these occasions have been drawn from the local force, and no extra expense has been incurred by their employment. The collection of money in Hyde Park is prohibited by statute. I have no power to pursue a similar course at Belfast.