HC Deb 02 November 1916 vol 86 cc1794-5

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that recently at Youghal, county Cork, the juvenile members of a religious sodality and the boys of the Christian Brothers Schools, Middleton, were forbidden by the police authorities to march from the Market Square to a hurling match in a field near the town; whether he is aware that the hurling match was a challenge match between the boys of the former two schools, and that the age of the boys who proposed so to march to the field ranged from eight to fourteen; whether the authorities were informed of this intention on the part of the boys; and whether he will take any steps to prevent action of this character on the part of the police?


I am informed that application for a permit for a procession was made at the local police barracks a few minutes before it was intended to take place. The police officer in charge had no authority to grant a permit for a procession, and offered to telegraph to the county inspector, but was told it was not worth while.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in this district 1,400 men have joined the Colours, and that many of these men who are fighting now at the front are the fathers and brothers of these young lads? Does he consider that this conduct is calculated to encourage recruiting?


I do not for a moment see the connection between the 1,400 men to whom my hon. and gallant Friend has referred and the inability of the local police officer to grant a permit for a procession. Where a permit for a procession is granted everybody who thinks fit may take part in it, but when they take part in it there is no guarantee that it is a procession of schoolboys.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the application of martial law in Ireland in this odious form is calculated to give the best results for recruiting and for every other purpose in which we are all interested?


That certainly does not arise out of the question.

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