HC Deb 06 July 1916 vol 83 cc1643-5

asked the Prime Minister, seeing that the objects of the Gaelic League have always been such non-political objects as the revival of the Irish language, literature, music, and industries, and that it has done excellent work in all these departments and has never been accused of illegality, whether he concurs in the use now being made of political disturbance to destroy this league and defeat those objects by arresting and keeping in internment its principal officers, Messrs. Sean T. O'Kelly, Padraig O'Maile, and Peadar O'Hourihane; whether the evidence on which the latter was about to be tried comprised that of Head-constable Hennessy, representing Mr. O'Hourihane as at a certain place at a specified time, and that of Constable Lyons, representing Mr. O'Hourihane as at a different and distant place at the same time; whether, in consequence of inability to sustain any charge, the court-martial to which Mr. O'Hourihane has been summoned had to be abandoned; and, there being now no charge against any of these gentlemen, whether he will by releasing them avoid the odium of destroying the Gaelic League and its work?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. The cases of the prisoners referred to are under the consideration of the Advisory Committee.

51. Mr. T. M. HEALY

asked the Prime Minister under what provision of martial law did the Cork county inspector, Royal Irish Constabulary, prohibit at the annual Mallow show, held last week on the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, the competition amongst children in the local schools in Gaelic speaking, singing, and dancing; is he aware that the suppression of this attraction caused much financial loss to the managers of the show by robbing it of a most popular feature; had the suppression any connection with the attendance of a military band at the show; was the county inspector authorised by Sir John Maxwell to take this action; and, if not, as this is the same official who forbade the Gaelic dances at the Coach-ford show, will he be rebuked and ordered to pay compensation for the less he has caused?


I am informed that a Gaelic feis, advertised to be held in conjunction with Mallow Agricultural Show, was withdrawn from the programme by the committee on receipt of an intimation from the county inspector that he would not allow it to be held. The authority for this action was a proclamation of General Sir John Maxwell, of the 11th May. The feis was not confined to children, and the step was taken with a view to preventing demonstrations which the county inspector had reason to think might take place. I have no information to the effect that the action of the county inspector caused any financial loss to the show. The reply to the last part of the question is in the negative.


So the Government approve of the action of the police in putting a stop to these innocent amusements?


I have no reason to think that the action taken was unnecessary.

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