§ 27. Sir J. LONSDALE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will state what instructions the Royal Irish Constabulary have received with regard to the issue of permits for the holding of public meetings, excursions, demonstrations, etc.; and if any organisations are exempted from these restrictions, will he give particulars?
§ Mr. DUKE
Under an order of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief the Forces in Ireland, no parade, procession, or political meeting shall take place anywhere in Ireland without the written authority previously obtained of the local county inspector of Royal Irish Constabulary, or in Dublin City of the Chief Commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. The Constabulary have been instructed that in giving effect to this, order meetings called for a legitimate and constitutional purpose, and not likely to result in a breach of the peace, should not be prohibited.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
Can the right hon. Gentleman answer the last part of my question: Are any organisations exempted from restrictions?
§ Mr. DUKE
Speaking from memory, I think no specific organisation has been exempted. The circumstances and the effect of particular organisations vary very much in one part of Ireland and another. What is endeavoured to be done is to apply an intelligent judgment to the circumstances of the particular case to see whether or not the public peace requires that there should be any interference with the ordinary right of public meeting.
§ Mr. P. MEEHAN
Is it not the fact that this restriction on the right to hold public meetings is due to the continuance of martial law under General Maxwell in Ireland?