HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 cc651-2W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Miss Kearney, Messrs. John F. M'Guire, John Kean, John Quigley, James Crowley, all of Church Street, Listowel, Patrick Buckley, Jeremiah Foley, Thomas Beechinor, all of William Street, Listowel, Edward Moran, Market Street, Listowel, have within the last fortnight obliterated their names in Irish character on their showboards; whether this was done because of threats made by police constables in case they refused to do so; whether any of these are licensed traders; whether he is aware that Messrs. Timothy D. O'Sullivan, Michael Fitzmaurice, James Lynch, John Relihan, Michael O'Connor and Edward Gleeson, and Mrs. Michael Stack, Mrs. J. J. Keane, all of William Street, Listowel, Miss Katty Stack, Main Street, Listowel, Messrs. Morgan Sheehy, James Bunyan and John Began, and Mrs. Counihan, all of Church Street, Listowel, licensed traders, have, within the same period, also obliterated their names in Irish characters on their show boards; whether all these have, and prior to such obliteration had, their names in English characters over their doors as required by Section 25 of The Licensing Act, 1825; whether this obliteration was done under similar threats; whether, on Friday, the 12th instant, Constables Cahill and Beiman called at the premises of Mr. Flavin, a newsagent and flour and meal merchant, and threatened Mrs. Flavin that unless the name in Irish was taken down within 24 hours the premises would be blown up, and if the same con- stables on Wednesday night repeated this threat to Mr. Flavin's assistant, giving her until midnight to have the name removed, otherwise the house would be burned; whether in consequence the women and children were afraid to sleep at home that night; whether the same constables made a similar threat to Mrs. John B. Walsh; whether, when Mr. Walsh produced a letter from his solicitor as to the law on the point, they informed him this law was out of date, and that he must have his name in English letters six inches long, under Section 10 of The Licensing Act, 1864; whether there is such a Statute, as alleged by the police; whether there are still several traders having their names in Irish over their shops; and whether any assurance will be given to these that their property will not be destroyed in consequence by the police or other forces of the Crown, and that these traders will not be further molested in reference to this matter?


I am making inquiries into these allegations, and shall be glad if the hon. Member will repeat on Thursday next this question, of which I only received notice yesterday.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he will make further inquiries into the statement that only licence-holders were compelled to withdraw from their signboards their names in Irish; and whether traders may now be assured that they will be free in the future from interference of that character?


In view of the specific allegations in a question put to me to-day by the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Allen Parkinson), I am having further inquiry made into this matter.