§ 12. Mr. NEWMAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he has any information regarding an alleged affray between the police and a crowd of 300 people on Sun day last at Skehard, near Creggs, county Galway; whether, for the third time within a month, an attempt was then made to drive cattle off a large farm belonging to the Rev. Canon Geraghty; and whether any arrests have been made?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The police authorities inform me that on 26th instant a crowd 1842 numbering about forty or fifty, including men, women, and girls, assembled at Skehard Farm and drove off the cattle. At a distance of about five miles they were overtaken by the police, and, as the drivers refused to desist, the police were obliged to disperse them by force. No-arrests were made, but the question of a prosecution of the parties identified as having taken part in the drive is being considered. Cattle drives took place on this farm on three previous occasions since 13th March, and proceedings by way of arrest and summons have been taken against fourteen persons in connection with these occurrences.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
What offence has the Rev, Canon Geraghty committed. Has he refused to give up his land?
§ 13. Mr. NEWMAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether the Irish Government intend to take any and, if so, what measures to deal with the continued state of lawlessness that prevails in parts of the province of Connaught, as evinced by extensive and repeated cattle drives, in the breaking down of fences and driving cattle in to graze on the lands of men who have incurred the displeasure of any leading Nationalist, and other similar forms of outrage and intimidation?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
Fortunately that does not come within my Department. It is a fact that a number of cattle drives have taken place in the counties of Galway, Sligo, and Mayo within the past few months. Eighty-eight persons have been prosecuted in connection with these drives. With the object of preventing this class of offence five police protection posts have been established in county Mayo. As some of the lands involved are a considerable distance from existing police barracks and no houses are available for the accommodation of extra police, the formation of a police camp is in contemplation.
Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether there have been any cases of piracy or gun-running in Connaught?