HC Deb 11 November 1920 vol 134 cc1338-9
7. Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the police who attempted to extinguish the flaming houses in Temple-more on the night of 29th October last have any information as to the persons who fired the houses and sacked the town; and what steps they took to check the riot and restore law and order?


I am informed that the police who attempted to extinguish the fires in Templemore have no information as to the perpetrators of the damage except that they numbered about 25 and were masked and disguised. On hearing of the occurrence the police, who were not in sufficient strength to cope with the situation, at once requisitioned military assistance, which was furnished with all possible speed. The raiders had meanwhile disappeared, and the police and military thereupon proceeded immediately to the task of extinguishing the flames. The local council thanked the police for their efforts in helping to extinguish the fires. There are 437 houses in Templemore. Only two were destroyed, though many more received some damage. No lives were lost nor was anyone injured on this occasion. The expression "sacked the town' in the hon. and gallant Member's question, therefore, has no relevancy to the actual facts.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

When does the right hon. Gentleman think that the expression "sacking a town" will apply? If there is one house left, does he think that a town is not sacked? Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware of the detailed statements made in respectable journals that this town was damaged by uniformed men in the service of the Crown, and that the police tried their best to restrain the uniformed men, supposed to be soldiers, who took part? Will he prosecute the journals for making false statements?