HC Deb 06 November 1906 vol 164 cc341-2

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Mrs. Kennedy, a Protestant lady who lived near Boyle, county Roscommon, had been accustomed for years past to hold religious meetings in her house; that a new parish priest, named Father McDermott, has recently been appointed to the parish, and that he denounced these meetings from the altar; and whether, seeing that as a result of his action a crowd with fifes and a drum surrounded Mrs. Kennedy's house for several nights, that she was boycotted in the local shops, that a person who supplied her with the necessaries of life was in turn boycotted, and that Mrs. Kennedy has now been compelled to leave because of insufficient police protection, he will say what action he proposes to take to secure religious equality in Roscommon and Galway.


I am informed by the police authorities that the facts are not as stated in the Question. Mrs. Kennedy, a Dublin lady, has been accustomed for several years to visit Ballinafad where she has held religious meetings in Protestant farm houses. It is, I am informed, not the case that Father McDermott has denounced these meetings as alleged. On three successive Sunday evenings a fife and drum band played along the public road, but did not surround the house in which Mrs. Kennedy was lodging or, indeed, go within 300 yards of it. It is not the case that Mrs. Kennedy or the person with whom she lodged was boycotted in the local shops; nor is it the fact that Mrs. Kennedy was compelled to leave because of insufficient police protection. The police afforded her the fullest protection during her stay at Ballinafad, and I am informed that no breach of the peace occurred, or was even attempted.