I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether on Sunday, 3rd March, head constable Fitzgibbon, R.I.C., Cappawhite, county Tipperary, ordered the constables under him, as the people were coming out from divine service in the Roman Catholic church of Cappawhite, to tear down the notices of the auction of the estate of Hugh Bradshaw Weldon, which had been ordered to be sold by Mr. Justice Ross; and whether, in consequence of the head constable's action, the auction was not held.
The head constable acted under an instruction in the Constabulary Manual directing the removal of placards calculated to attract crowds so as to cause obstruction to the public streets or thoroughfares. I do not consider that this instruction can be fairly held to apply to the case of so small a village, where crowds are not likely to assemble in such numbers as to cause inconvenience, and I have so informed the inspector General. Many other placards to a like effect were displayed in the village, and two immediately opposite to the one that was removed.
Will the right hon. Gentleman give instructions to the inspector to use more discretion?
That has been done.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the police have on several occasions pulled down placards announcing meetings of the United Irish League?
[No answer was given.]