HC Deb 09 December 1831 vol 9 cc141-3
Mr. George Dawson

said, he begged to be allowed to take the present opportunity, to put a question to the right hon. Secretary for Ireland. It appeared, from the statements in the Irish newspapers, that there had been a regular battle between his Majesty's troops, and some insurgents or White Boys, or he knew not what to call them, in the county of Kilkenny, and that in that battle twelve men had been killed, and forty-six wounded. He believed this statement to be true, because he had received a similar account from a Magistrate of the county. It was necessary, therefore, to put some questions to the Government, and what he wished to ascertain was, whether the right hon. Gentleman had received any report from the Lord-lieutenant of the county, relating to this unhappy transaction, and whether he would lay the papers before the House? If there was no report, he wished to know whether the Government would not institute an inquiry into the matter? He thought it well worth an inquiry, for he asserted, that within the last year, under the present happy system of Government, there had been more blood of his Majesty's subjects shed, at Castle-pollard, at Newtownbarry, at Merthyr-Tydvil, and at Bristol, than had been spilt in some of those great battles that had decided the fate of nations.

Mr. Stanley

had not the smallest difficulty in answering the question of the right hon. Gentleman, and he should the more readily give an answer, as it would be satisfactory to the right hon. Gentleman, since it would show, that his friend, who had given him the information, had made a statement containing a most extraordinary exaggeration of the facts of the case, melancholy as he allowed they were. The right hon. Gentleman had, without necessity, referred to Castle-Pollard, to Newtownbarry, to Mcrthyr Tydvil, and to Bristol. Without, however, answering those observations, he would state, with respect to this particular matter, that the facts of this battle, as the right hon. Gentleman called it, between a portion of his Majesty's troops were these: A small party of police had succeeded in apprehending eight persons, charged with having committed an assault upon a house, and were about to convey these persons to prison, when they were attacked by a body of peasantry, for the purpose of effecting a rescue. The newspapers had, he believed, given as full information as had been received by the Government. The assistance of the military, however, was required, and the result was, that instead of there having been twelve persons killed, there had been three men killed, and three or four wounded. He deeply regretted, that this loss of life should have occurred; but, at least, this was not as bad as the right hon. Gentleman's statement represented it to be. The party of police ultimately succeeded in conveying their prisoners to the county gaol; and from all the information the Government had received, he believed that not the smallest blame was attached to the officers commanding the troops on the occasion. If the right hon. Gentleman required the papers after this explanation, he had not the slightest objection to their production.

Mr. George Dawson

was perfectly satisfied with this explanation at present. If a trial was about to take place, he should not want the papers; but if there was not to be a trial, he should certainly wish them to be produced. It would be satisfactory to the country to see how the new Lord-lieutenants' Bill had operated in Ireland.