HC Deb 21 November 1906 vol 165 cc832-3

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that on the 7th instant, a crowd of some 200 Nationalist rowdies assembled with bands and flags midway between Toulagee and Donamon and intercepted forty head of cattle which were being driven out to stock Toulagee farm, which had been taken by Mr. John Beirne, butcher, Ballinasloe, in defiance of resolutions passed by the Kilbride branch of the United Irish League; that the crowd drove the cattle in every direction over the country so that the herd had to return to Roscommon with sixteen only of the cattle; will he explain why the police were not on the spot to prevent that action; and what steps have the police taken in the matter.


I am informed that proceedings have been directed against several persons in connection with the matter referred to in the Question, and while those proceedings are sub judice it would be contrary to practice and undesirable that I should enter into the details of the case. The Inspector-General informs me that the reason why the police were not present on the occasion was that they had not been informed by the owner of his intention to send cattle to the farm.

MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the dispersal of the cattle of Mr. Beirne, of Ballinasloe, was organised by the United Irish League, because he refused to give up, at the bidding of the League, his farm at Tongalee, which he bought at auction; and whether, in consequence of the attempts to injure Mr. Beirne, a force of police have to be stationed on the farm for his protection.


As I have just stated in reply to a Question put by the hon. Member for South Antrim, the incident referred to in the Question is the subject of pending proceedings at the instance of the police, and it is therefore undesirable that the details of the case should be entered into. I may, however, say that, as I am informed, the police have no evidence that the dispersal of Mr. Beirne's cattle was organised by the United Irish League. It has not been found necessary to station a force of police on the farm, but the police are taking all due measures for the preservation of the peace.

* MR. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)

Is the Government able to deny the truth of the rumour that they intend the abrogation of the 6th and 8th Commandments of the Decalogue?