HC Deb 04 July 1845 vol 82 cc14-5

In reply to a question from Mr. Bouverie,

Sir T. Fremantle

said, that he had received an account of the affray at Ballinhassig, in the neighbourhood of Cork. It appeared that a number of persons had assembled on the evening of a fair, and that the affray was caused by an attempt to rescue a man who had been taken into custody by the police. He had not received the accounts in detail, but he regretted to say that the circumstances, as they appeared in the public papers, were in the main correct. Several lives had been lost. As to whether the police were deserving of blame or not, he could not give an opinion until he had received further information. From that which he had already received, it would appear that they were not blameable; for when they fired at the people he was given to understand that they did it in order to preserve their own lives. As he had before said, an attempt was made to rescue a prisoner, who was removed to a place of confinement, the doors and windows of which were broken, and the roof was nearly demolished, when the police were driven to the necessity of firing on the people.

Mr. Sheil

asked if any inquiry had been directed to be made into this unfortunate transaction?

Sir T. Fremantle

said, that the coroner's inquest was to take place, and great care would be taken that it should be conducted with all the necessary formalities. If that investigation did not bring out all the circumstances satisfactorily, it would be the duty of the Government to direct further inquiry.