THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Call in the Ulster House of Commons for compensation for traders after border raids

From the News Letter, March 28, 1924

Belleek Pottery, Co Fermanagh. Picture: NITB Photographic Library
Belleek Pottery, Co Fermanagh. Picture: NITB Photographic Library

There was a call in the Northern Ireland House of Commons, reported the News Letter on this day in 1924, for bill to be drafted to provide compensation to loyalist who had “suffered through the raid by southern forces” at Belleek two years previously.

Speaking in the Commons, Sir Robert Anderson said that the southern raiders had “left behind their mark” when they invaded and these scares still remained to the “detriment and injury” of “a great many citizens”.

He condemned the fact that nothing had been done to compensate the victims of the raid, he said: “These are loyal people who have suffered seriously and suffer up to the present.”

He added that the cost that would be incurred by the Government would not be great, he said: “The amount involved would not be very great. . . if the Government takes the matter up and places the facts before the House, they would be acting harmony with the wishes of the House and wishes of the whole community.”

Supporting Mr Anderson’s demand for a bill of compensation Mr McGaffin said that in order to encourage the people of the border it was the duty of the government of Northern Ireland to deal with the matter, he declared: “Is a proposal was submitted they would be unanimous in supporting it.”

Responding to the motion the Minister of Finance, Mr Hugh MacDowell Pollock declared that he believed that the Free State authorities were equally culpable to pay compensation since the raiders had come from the south.