§ 74. Mr. NEWMAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been called to a not that occurred in Limerick at the conclusion of a meeting convened to oppose the policy of Home Rule; whether the secretary and the more prominent of those attending the meeting were compelled to take refuge in the post office, a motor car Was smashed, and the windows of the Protestant Young Men's Association and other buildings occupied by Unionists broken, and the rioters dispersed after baton charges by the police; whether large numbers of the constabulary have recently been withdrawn from the South of Ireland and transferred as an additional force to Belfast; and whether he will arrange that a sufficient force is maintained in the southern provinces to cope with any emergency that may arise?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The police authorities inform me that on the occasion of the meeting referred to large crowds of people assembled outside the theatre while the 785 meeting was going on; and at its conclusion, as the audience were dispersing and getting into their carriages and motors, some stones were thrown. A motor car had its screen broken by stones, and another car was slightly damaged. The secretary of the meeting and a small party took refuge in the post office. The windows of the Protestant Young Men's Association were broken, and also the windows of a number of shops belonging to both Protestants and Roman Catholics. A great deal of damage was done by boys. A large force of police was present, but they had considerable difficulty in restraining the crowd, which numbered some 2,000. A sufficient number of police will be maintained in the district to cope with any emergency that may arise.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
Is it not a fact that there was renewed rioting on Friday evening, and that 100 additional police had to be drafted into Limerick?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am afraid that at a public inquiry we should have difficulty in achieving that object.
§ Mr. HAROLD SMITH
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any arrests have been made in respect of this disturbance?