§ 18. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether Sergeant James O'Donoghue, Royal Irish Constabulary, was murdered on the streets of Cork by three unknown men on the evening of 17th November; whether later in the same night uniformed men, who in some cases described themselves as military when seeking admission, entered dwelling-houses and murdered James Coleman, of North Mall, Eugene Connell, of Broad Lane, and Patrick Hanley, of Broad Street, and wounded with revolver shots Charles O'Brien, of Broad Lane, and Stephen Coleman, of Broad Street; whether this murdering and wounding was done in the presence of their wives and children; whether he is aware that the men's relatives state positively that these murders and shooting were committed by uniformed men; how many arrests have been made in connection with these four murders and two attempted murders; and what steps he is taking to trace the assassins?
§ Mr. HENRY
According to the reports which I have received these murders and attempted murders occurred on the dates mentioned and in the manner described in the hon. and gallant Member's question. The police have made every effort to trace the perpetrators of these crimes, but I regret to state no arrests 1412 have yet been made. A military court of inquiry in lieu of inquest has been held in each of the cases of murder, and in each case the finding of the court was one of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown. I would add that, according to the police report, all these civilian victims were, so far as is known, innocent and inoffensive persons who did not take any part in politics.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
How does the right hon. and learned Gentleman account for the fact that their relatives are prepared to swear that it was armed and uniformed men who entered the dwellings—servants of the Crown? May I have an explanation of that?
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
May I ask whether it was not the case that the 15 soldiers murdered near Cork were murdered by uniformed men?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Might I have an answer, please? Is the right hon. Gentleman—[HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down."]—aware that the relatives are prepared to declare specially that these were' servants of the Crown—how does he account for it?
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
Is it a fact or not that all these men were murdered after midnight when curfew was in force, and therefore that no civilians were abroad in the streets: is it not conclusive, therefore, that the murders must have been committed by the forces of the Crown?
§ 24. Mr. SWAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that about the beginning of November lorries, conveying armed forces of the Crown, drove repeatedly through Falcarragh and Gortahork, County Donegal, from which volleys were fired indiscriminately; that several people wholly unconnected with politics had narrow escapes from being shot; that these attacks were unprovoked; that no explanation was given of them; that shots were fired by the forces into the parish hall, which is the venue of the Cloughaneely summer Irish 1413 college and is the property of the parish; that in the second week in November raids by the forces of the Crown, accompanied by violent threats, began; that the raiding forces were usually intoxicated; that on the morning of the 17th instant the manager and the assistant at the store in Gortahork of the Cloughaneely Co-operative Agricultural Society, Limited, were awakened by police and ordered out of the building; that one of the Royal Irish Constabulary men said that they were going to burn it; that the forces threw down the goods in the shop in confusion; that some small articles, including knives and lamp batteries, were taken away; that the society is absolutely non-political; that its capital is made up of the savings of the poor and its members include Unionists, Hibernians, as well as republicans; that the Royal Irish Constabulary afterwards proceeded to the neighbouring parish and smashed all the windows, roof, partitions, etc., and two sewing machines belonging to the Congested Districts Board; that they piled up the forms and tables belonging to the Irish college in the centre of the floor and ignited the heap with petrol; that on their departure the fire was extinguished and the wrecked hall saved from utter destruction; that at 2 a.m. on the morning of the 18th instant the manager and assistant at the store were awakened by smoke and found themselves in a burning building; that they escaped from the flames only by a leap from an upper window; that the stores with stocks of food and clothing valued at thousands of pounds was destroyed; that the incendiaries at the same time had re-ignited the parish hall, which was also reduced to ashes; that the district inspector was told by civilian witnesses that the Royal Irish Constabulary men who ignited the hall in the daylight raid could be identified, but no steps were taken by him to exercise disciplinary action; that this is the first attack on a co-operative distributive society; that it raises the fear that stores are to follow creameries to destruction; that the district previously to these raids was peaceful; and that nothing is alleged against the society which includes members belonging to all parties; whether he has taken any steps to punish the perpetrators of these attacks and of the accompanying destruction of property and prevent repetition of them; and, if not, 1414 whether he will institute an independent and impartial inquiry into these occurrences?
§ 46. Viscount CURZON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he has reason to believe that Irish-American gunmen have been imported into Ireland to assist in the murder campaign; if so, what would be their status if apprehended as American citizens; has he reason to believe that members of the Irish Republican Army have arrived in this country, and, if so, has he any information to show how they managed to cross over; and can he state whether he is receiving the full co-operation of the Admiralty in this matter?
§ Mr. HENRY
I am satisfied that the present situation in Ireland is not due, in an appreciable degree, to the course suggested in the first part of the question. In reply to the second part of the question, aliens are as fully amenable to the laws of this country while residing therein as are British subjects. The reply to the third part is in the affirmative.
§ Viscount CURZON
May I ask whether it is a fact or not that Irish-American gunmen have been imported into Ireland?
§ 53. Mr. MacVEAGH
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he now has any information with regard to the burning and bombing of a large shop, several Sinn Fein halls, and several dwelling-houses in the City of Cork on the nights of the 26th, 27th, and 28th 1415 November last; whether he is aware that several English newspapers reported these outrages as the work of the Forces of the Crown; what steps he is taking to trace the malefactors; what is the Government theory as to the authors of these acts of incendiarism; and what steps are being taken to prevent their continuance?