§ MR. O'DOWD (Sligo, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain why, on the 5th May last, a police force of over fifty dispersed a meeting of the United Irish League at Achonry, County Sligo, and on what evidence the meeting was proclaimed; under what authority, in spite of the protest of the chairman 265 against the dispersal of the meeting, the officer in charge ordered the police to fix bayonets and advance to the platform; is he aware that on the same occasion the police attacked a band on its way to the meeting and batoned the people following the band, and attacked Patrick O'Neill, of Achonry, and his son in their own garden; and if he can give the number of the people injured on this occasion, and whether he will cause further inquiry to be made into the matter.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
No meeting was proclaimed on the 6th May, but on the previous day a disorderly crowd attempted a repetition of the unlawful demonstrations lately organised against certain persons in this locality. The police, who were violently assailed with sticks and stones on three occasions, dispersed the mob with truncheons. The order to fix bayonets (which were not used) was given by the district inspector, who considered it necessary to adopt this course in view of information received as to the intentions of the crowd and of their threatening demeanour. I am inquiring further into the necessity of this order, but full accounts which have reached me prove that the district inspector and all his force exercised exemplary self-control during a trying day. I am unable to say how many were injured on the occasion; a number of police, however, were struck. Patrick O'Neill and his son stoned the police, and the former received a blow from a baton.
§ MR. O'DOWD
Has the right hon. Gentleman received any representation from the local authorities on the subject?