HC Deb 22 February 1858 vol 148 cc1869-70

said, he wished to ask the Attorney General for Ireland, or, in his absence, the Chief Secretary, whether any and what measures have been taken by the Irish Government to prosecute——Loughran, who, as appears by the Report of Messrs. Lynch and Smyth, was the cause of the late Belfast Riots which commenced in July last, the said——Loughran having, as appears by the said Report, been guilty, with others, of conspiracy to riot?


said that, in rising to answer the question of the hon. and gallant Member, he would beg to adopt the somewhat Irish course of replying by asking him another question—namely, whether he had read the Report in question? because he (Mr. Herbert) had so high an opinion of the hon. and gallant Member's courtesy, that he thought he would not have put the question had he done so. The man Loughran had undoubtedly gone with the mob, and conducted himself in a manner which, but for the interference of the police, would have brought upon him, what he richly deserved, a sound thrashing. The hon. and gallant Member had stated that Loughran was the cause of the Belfast Riots, whereas the Commissioners expressly said they felt that this man's conduct had a very small and unimportant share in causing the riots. Such occurrences, they said, though evanescent, showed the state of the public mind, but had a very small influence upon the causes of the outbreak. He (Mr. Herbert) thought, if his hon. and gallant Friend had read that passage, he would not have stated that his conduct was the cause of the riots. The person in question had been taken up, and fined 40s. by the magistrates, and thus received the penalty of his own folly and indiscretion.