HC Deb 07 May 1908 vol 188 cc405-6

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Royal Irish Constabulary have no power to preserve order within the enclosures of the various football clubs in Belfast; has he received complaints from Belfast football clubs and the Irish Football League on the subject; and can any effective steps be taken to enable the police to control the rowdy element present at the larger matches.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The powers of the police in reference to private football matches are somewhat restricted; but the police attend all important football matches in Belfast with the object of preserving the peace, and upon the request of the officials they remove from the ground any persons who may be guilty of rowdyism. No recent complaint has been received from any football club or from the Irish Football League, and no disturbance of moment has arisen at any football match in Belfast for a considerable time past.