Page 11, 29th July 1938

29th July 1938
Page 11
Page 11, 29th July 1938 — Simple Sir Dawson
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Simple Sir Dawson

From Our Own Correspondent

BELFAST.

That " organ of public opinion," the British Press, was severely censured by the Northern Ireland Minister of Home Affairs recently for its " malicious and mendacious campaign " against the Government of Northern Ireland. The honourable occasion was at a luncheon in Derry given by the Governor and members of the Visitation of the Irish Society, London, and Sir Dawson Bates was replying to the toast of the Government of Northern Ireland. Defending the Civil Authorities Act, he said " We are represented by certain of the Press as having a Government of dictators. Well, you of the North of Ireland will agree with me that I think we could hardly imagine a government of dictators lasting halt' an hour in Northern Ireland." (Quite so, dear simple Knight, but what of a Government dictatorship?) Civil Liberty—a /a carte Quoth Sir Dawson: "Although the (Civil Authorities) Act has been in force for a considerable time, and will be continued in force, I have not yet met with a single grouse or claim against the administration of this Act." (Just another poor actor who, when off stage, forgets the hoots and catcalls that accompanied his performance.) The Civil Authorities Act confers special powers on the police. After years of use or abuse of such powers the man-in-thestreet has become inured to the feeling that he is a potential law-breaker and that he must be prepared in an emergency to prove his innocence.

Special Vintage: Guaranteed 18 Years Old

Quite right, Sir Dawson, not a grouse Act against the —until it infringes the rights of "loyalists," then they apply the thumbscrews.

When trouble was obviously brewing, early in the summer of 1935, Sir D.B., as Minister of Home Affairs, issued an order forbidding band parades and processions through the disturbed area. This was an obvious threat to " loyalist " peace-disturbers. That order was disobeyed without incurring serious consequences in law; furthermore, Sir Jospeh Davison, 'the Orange leader, publicly declared that if the Order was not withdrawn for the 12th celebrations his men would march in spite of it and he would lead theml The Order was revoked.

This " Dictrnocracy " Up to Date A child of fifteen years was found in possession of some notes purporting to be his results of " shadowing " an individual popularly designated as a " police tout." He was sentenced to 12 months in gaol. (The Spectator has since written very strongly about this example of "Ulster " justice.) Last week a young man was charged with having a copy of Mary McSwiney's "The Republic of Ireland " in his home. He " recognised " the court and it was not proved that he belonged to any illegal body. He was sentenced to 12 months' hard labour. At the recent Assizes a youth of 18 was sentenced to two years' hard labour for admitting to membership of the I.R.A.

Twenty Await Trial

Almost a score of Nationalists from the Maghera (Co. Derry) area are awaiting trial for participation in a riot following the erection of an Orange arch in a Catholic district of Maghera.

It is at least singular that not a single " loyalist " has been charged, though their aggressive conduct was responsible for the trouble. " Loyalists " are protected by camouflage unequalled in the Great War. At the approach of danger these unfortunate warriors can always substitute the " B Special " uniform for civilian raiment, and thus they become upholders of " law and order."

Mr. Eamon Donnelly was arrested recently in his home at BaIlinacraig, Newry, when he returned on a brief visit. It is understood that his arrest is due to his contravention of an order made against him some time ago, under the Civil Authorities Special (Powers) Act.

Mr. Donnelly is an ex-T.D. for Offaly and Leix, and a prominent supporter of Mr. de Valera. He is identified with the anti-partition effort.




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