I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that, on the 6th July last, at Dernagore Island, in Carrowel River, where Cavan borders Fermanagh, a force of police pursued some young fellows alleged to be about to take part in a cock-fight at 11.30 in the morning; will he say why the police shot at these young men, and why seven shots were fired in broad daylight; did the police summon the parties for cock-fighting; is he aware that the police broke a cot the property of one Donohoe, and will he be paid compensation for the act of the police; and will all the circumstances of this affair be looked into, with a view to the police discharging this part of their duty without using their firearms in this peaceful district.
On 6th July, at half-past one in the morning, the police came upon a party of men preparing to hold cock-fights on Tranish Island in Lough Erne. The party then crossed to the opposite shore of the lake, whither they were pursued by the police. About half-past ten, after a nine-hours chase, the party, which numbered several hundreds succeeded in reaching Dernagore Island by means of cots, which I understand to be small boats. The police had no boats at the place, and a constable swam across to the island with the object of getting one. He was met by a number of men who rushed at him with stones in their hands, and one of his comrades on the opposite bank thereupon fired two revolver shots in the air in order to deter the men. The constable swam back without getting a boat. Seventy-eight persons were summoned by the police for aiding and abetting in cock-fighting, and fines were imposed. I am informed that the police did not break any cot. The Inspector-General does not think it necessary to issue any special instructions in the matter. The constable who fired in the air merely did so as a warning to the men who were threatening his comrade.