HC Deb 09 June 1843 vol 69 cc1301-2
Mr. Ross,

wished to know from the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland whether the Government had received any official account of the outrages committed by an Orange mob against some Roman Catholic inhabitants of the vicinity of Dungannon; and whether it was in contemplation to introduce any measure to curb the violence of those partisans?

Lord Eliot

said Government had received accounts of the outrages of which the hon. Member spoke: they were shortly these: a meeting of persons, inhabitants of the neigbourhood of Dungannon, assembled at that town for the purpose of petitioning Parliament against the Repeal of the Union- While so engaged, information was brought, to them, that a small party on their way to take part in the proceedings had been assaulted and beaten at the village of Carland, a few miles from that town. On hearing this, a small body of the meeting;, consisting of 400 or 500 persons repaired to the village, and not finding the persons who. had been the aggressors, wreaked their vengeance on the Houses, A good many of these were more or less injured, but the, amount of the damage done to the property had been very much exaggerated. The whole of the damage done, to the property did not exceed 85l, He was not, for a moment, about to extenuate the character of an outrage of this sort; but on the other hand, he thought it right that it should not he over-stated or exaggerated,. Government had taken all the measures their power, to apprehend the offenders, and bring them to justice, and rewards had been offered for that purpose. The police had arrived on the spot within five minutes of the. commencement of the disturbance, and order was immediately re- stored. The military had been sent for immediately afterwards, but their presene was pot required.

Sir V. Blake

said, the proclamation issued by the Government mentioned, that considerable injury had been done to the houses in the village. Hon. Members would be astonished to learn, that this considerable injury was neither more nor less than the razing to the ground of forty-eight houses.

Lord J. Russell

thought the only course Government could take in a case of this kind, was to prosecute the persons who violated the law. If they ware Roman Catholics who assaulted Protestants going to a public meeting, they should be prosecuted; and if there were persons calling themselves Protestants, who destroyed the houses of Roman Catholics, the law should at the same time be vindicated, and put in force against them. What the noble Lord said as to, the value of the property destroyed might be misunderstood. Though the cabins which had been wrecked might only be roofed with straw or thatch, yet that was no measure of their value for the eyes of their owners; the loss might be as great to the inhabitants of one of them, as that of the most valuable mansion would be to its proprietor,

Lord Eliot

was obliged to the noble Lord for giving him an opportunity of explaining. It was stated in the newspapers, that the houses in question had been razed, and that account seemed to have reached the right hon. Baronet opposite. He held in his hand an account of the damage done to each particular house, which stated: in one, a pail broken; in another, three or four shelves; and so on. He admitted, that destruction of property had taken place to an extent very serious to the poor people in question; but he made this statement to show that the damage had net been of such, extent and magnitude as, was represented in the, newspapers. It had not extended to the razing of houses, but was confined) solely to the destruction of certain household property.

Subject at an end.