CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - CIVIC GUARD IN MULLINGAR.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether he is aware that the publicans in Mullingar have been notified by the Civic Guards stationed there that in future their premises must not be opened on Catholic holidays of Obligation, except between the hours of 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., and not as heretofore from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and will he state whether the Civic Guards have been instructed by the Government, and if so, is the order general, and if not, will he take the necessary steps to have the order rescinded.

MINISTER for HOME AFFAIRS (Mr. Kevin O'Higgins)

No instruction to the Civic Guards in Mullingar or elsewhere has been issued authorising any interference with the statutory hours of closing of licensed premises.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

Arising out of that answer, I wish to ask if the Civic Guards in Mullingar prosecute the publicans for not complying with the orders they have already given them, will it be in the power of the Civic Guards to have those publicans fined, or will you withdraw the order?

Mr. KEVIN O'HIGGINS

It will be for the Courts to enforce the existing Statutory Regulations. They have no jurisdiction to enforce other regulations.