HC Deb 28 September 1909 vol 11 cc1084-5

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that on the 18th instant, when a public reception was given by the inhabitants of Castlerea, county Roscommon, to two citizens of the United States of America, one of whom, Captain O'Meagher Condon, holds high office under the United States Government, and the second, Mr. John O'Callaghan, is an editor of the "Boston Globe" newspaper, Sergeant Kerrigan, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, ordered a licensed publican in the town to haul down the United States flag from his house, which, in common with all the other houses in the town, was decorated in honour of the American visitors; whether he is aware that this incident is regarded in the United States, and has been so described in a section of the American Press, as an insult to the flag of the United States; and whether, in view of the friendly relations supposed to exist between America and Great Britain, he will cause the British Ambassador at Washington to explain and to apologise for this unauthorised action on the part of Sergeant Kerrigan?


As my hon. Friend, the Solicitor-General for Ireland, has already informed the hon. Member, the display of a flag on a public-house is an offence against the Licensing (Ireland) Act, 1836. I understand that on several occasions the police have requested publicans to remove the Union Jack when it was so displayed. As regards the last part of the question, it must be quite clear that no insult to the flag of the United States of America can have been intended, and it is not intended to make any communication to the Government of the United States on the subject.