I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has received a copy of resolutions passed by the Roman Catholics of Dungannon at a public meeting, protesting against the attack on Roman Catholics by Orangemen on 11th October last, against the arrangements by the police, and demanding an inquiry; whether, seeing that it is a rule of the local authorities that when a Nationalist meeting is taking place in Dungannon or neighbourhood the Orangemen are precluded from drumming in the thoroughfares, can he explain why they were allowed to drum in the public square on 11th October,
when a Nationalist meeting was being held at St. Mary's Hall, and a number of persons would have to pass; can he state how many policemen were on duty on that night in Dungannon; how many were injured; what compensation they were awarded, and from what area it is to be levied; and can he state the number and names of those prosecuted for stone-throwing, and why no punishment was inflicted; and whether the demand for further inquiry will be acceded to.† See preceding volume, page 1371.
A memorial was received to the effect stated in the first paragraph. The memorialists were invited to submit to the Inspector-General any complaints of neglect of duty or breach of discipline on the part of the police. So far, however, they have not done so. I am not aware of the existence of the rule referred to in the second paragraph; but I am informed that on the occasion mentioned the Nationalist party, marched through the Orange quarter of the town, accompanied by bands, torches and fireworks, and that missiles were thrown, by persons in that party, breaking a valuable plate-glass window in the house of Mr. Knox, who subsequently recovered £15 compensation. The constabulary, numbering seventy-five, took up a position between the hostile crowds. Five constables were injured, one seriously, He has been awarded £300 compensation, to be levied off the county at large. Eighteen persons—nine belonging to each party—were summoned at the suit of the Urban District Council for riotous behaviour. Two of the cases were dismissed on their merits. The solicitor for the defence raised an objection to the form of the summons, and the objection being upheld, the other sixteen cases were dismissed without prejudice. Fresh summonses were then issued, and again dismissed without prejudice. The Urban Council then decided not to proceed further with the cases.
Do such disturbances occur in the south of Ireland, where the Catholic population is over 90 per cent.?
The right hon. Gentleman said nine were summoned on each side—
The hon. Member is not entitled to argue the question.
Why was not a larger number prosecuted on the really offending side?
I have given all the information I have.
Is the plan to be adopted that no matter which side is innocent an equal number shall be prosecuted on each side?
Were any members of the Catholic party identified as having thrown stones, and were not the Orangemen identified as having been guilty of that?
I cannot add to the very full answer I have already given.