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Stewartstown—St Patrick's Day Meeting

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether it has come to his knowledge that arrangements have been made to hold a public meeting on the 18th instant in the vicinity of Stewarts-town, County Tyrone, to commemorate the national festival of Ireland; is he aware that, notwithstanding the fact that a number of people would require to pass into and through the town to attend the meeting, the local magistrates have issued a proclamation forbidding excursionists to pass through Stewartstown on Monday next; and whether this action of the magistrates will be reviewed and cancelled.

The promoters of the meeting have been warned that it cannot be allowed in the town, because it would undoubtedly lead to a riot; but if it is held outside the town no interference with it will be permitted; nor will persons be prevented from passing through the town to take part in it, so long as nothing in the nature of a procession is formed within the town. The magistrates' action will be supported.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the local magistrates have issued a proclamation (I have it here) absolutely forbidding the meeting?

The meeting cannot be allowed in the town, but it may take place outside.

Why should the meeting be allowed immemediately outside the town but not in it?

It is a matter of police precautions. Meetings of this kind sometimes lead to trouble.

lf the meeting is held outside the town will the proclamation be withdrawn?

Will the Orangemen in the town be confined to barracks on the day?

[No answer was given.]