Outrages.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 14th March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Rupert Gwynne Mr Rupert Gwynne , Eastbourne

33.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that during divine service on Sunday evening last, 5th March, Kilmanaheen Rectory, Ennistymon, county Clare, was entered by a gang of robbers and property to the extent of £200 stolen; and whether the Irish Free State have made any arrests or restored any of the property to the rector?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

This matter has been brought to the notice of the Provisional Government, but I have not yet received a report regarding it

Photo of Mr Rupert Gwynne Mr Rupert Gwynne , Eastbourne

Is the right hon. Gentleman doing anything to protect these unfortunate loyalists beyond bringing cases to the notice of the Provisional Government?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

No, Sir; I am not doing anything beyond bringing it to the notice of the Provisional Government. I think that that is the best thing I can do, and I am not sure that the situation has not improved.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is the Provisional Government doing anything, or having anything done?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I think that they are doing their best, and that they are gradually succeeding.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

35.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that a Royal Irish Constabulary convoy consisting of several motor cars and motor lorries with Government stores and private luggage, when on their way from Cork to Gormanston Camp on or about the, 25th or 26th February, were taken possession of and looted by officials of the Provisional Government at Maryborough; what is the value of the cars and Government stores taken, as well as of the private belongings of the Royal Irish Constabulary officers and men; whether compensation has been paid to the latter in respect of the losses which they have sustained; and what action the Government are taking in the matter?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The facts of the incident referred to are that at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, 25th February, a convoy of Royal Irish Constabulary en route from Cork to Gormanston Camp halted at Maryborough for the night, and the officer in charge, by arrangement with the local representative of the Provisional Government, placed certain stores, including the boxes and kit bags containing the personal property of the men, in the military barracks of the town which had recently been taken over by the forces of the Provisional Government. On the following morning it was found that the men's boxes and kit bags had been opened and that a considerable quantity of their personal property was missing. The local representative of the Provisional Government was at once communicated with and a search was made with the result that some of the missing property was found at the back of the barracks. No articles of public property were missing, and the convoy proceeded on its journey and arrived safely at Gormanston on 26th February. The Provisional Government have promised a full investigation into the matter and inquiries are now proceeding.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Will these unfortunate men, who were not men of any means, and many of whom have lost the whole of their personal belongings, be compensated by someone?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have said that inquiry is proceeding, and I am certain that it will be pressed with all their power by the Provisional Government. Obviously, this is a very petty and disreputable affair. As to compensation, I prefer to know a little more about the facts first, but in principle I am inclined to think that they should receive compensation.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Surely the House is entitled to know that the right hon. Gentleman is doing something more for the protection of life and property than merely making representations to the Provisional Government, while nothing is being done from day to day.

Photo of Mr Henry Croft Mr Henry Croft , Bournemouth

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether all the Royal Irish Constabulary at present isolated in Ireland are to be immediately withdrawn from that part of Ireland, in order that these attacks—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That does not arise from the original question.