§ MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that at a meeting of the United Trish League, at Elphin, on April 15th last, which was presided over by Mr. T. Rorke, J.P., Mr. John Dowd and Mr. John Shanley were denounced for having taken eleven months farms; Whether he is aware that Sergeant Healy, of Elphin, was present at that meeting, and that on April 17th, Mr. John Dowd reported to Sergeant Healy that Mr. T. Rorke, J.P., had threatened to make it hot for him; whether he is aware that Sergeant Healy advised Mr. Dowd to report the matter to the Lord Chancellor; that Sergeant Healy has, on several occasions, cautioned certain persons for annoying Mr. Dowd; and whether he will inquire as to whether 887 the persons named are receiving adequate protection from the police.
I am informed by the police authorities that at the meeting in question reference was made to the taking of farms on the eleven months system, but the names of Messrs. Dowd and Shanley wore not mentioned, nor was any illegal language used. Sergeant Healy was present at the meeting. Mr. Dowd did not report to the sergeant that Mr. Rorke had threatened to make it hot for him, nor did the sergeant advise Mr. Dowd to report the matter to the Lord Chancellor. It is the fact that Sergeant Healy has cautioned persons against annoying Mr. Dowd, and the desired effect was produced. As I stated in reply to the hon. Member's former Question, Mr. Dowd has not been boycotted nor has he, so far as the police are aware, suffered any inconvenience. The persons named will receive any protection which may be necessary.
§ MR. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
Why should Sergeant Healy or any other policeman attend these meetings of the United Irish League, seeing that the police do not attend meetings of the Orange Society at which disloyal references are made?
I am not aware that any distinction is made. I do not know whether this meeting was public or not. The police do not attend private meetings, but, of course, if they have reason to believe anything is going to be said by any person belonging to any political party or creed which may make it desirable to report them, they would attend any meeting which they have a right to attend.
§ MR. LONSDALE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Orangemen entirely repudiate the statements made regarding them?
§ MR. HAYDEN
Is any hon. Member of this House justified in making charges of the character contained in this Question, which are entirely without foundation—charges really of a criminal character?
§ MR. SPEAKER
I always deprecate charges being made against anybody. 888 confess I did not think there was anything very serious in this Question, or I should have taken steps to prevent its being asked.
§ MR. LONSDALE
claimed he had as much right to put a Question based on positive information as the hon. Member had to make imputations against Orange lodges.