HC Deb 11 August 1859 vol 155 cc1351-2

said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland the nature of the official Reports made by the Civil and Military Authorities who investigated the recent rioting at Kinsale, and of the Complaints made to the late Government as to the conduct of the Antrim Regiment of Militia, when stationed at Carrickfergus, on or about July, 1858; and also what steps will be taken with regard to the Antrim Militia in consequence of their recent or of their former conduct.


(in the absence of Mr. Cardwell) said, that it appeared from inquiries that had been made, that prior to the 10th of July last the conduct of the regiment in question had been creditable and soldier-like, but on that day some unfortunate disputes occurred between either a soldier or some of the soldiers of the regiment and some civilians, in the town of Kinsale, and on the 12th of July a party of the artillery, in coming up the street of Kinsale, attacked a Roman Catholic clergyman, and the consequence of that attack was that a riot took place in the town of an apparently formidable character, and it lasted for the space of thirty-two hours. The result of that riot was that a large number of windows were broken and some injury done to property; but when all was over it was found that, whilst serious injuries had been inflicted on several men of the regiment, no serious injury had been sustained by any of the townsmen. It would, no doubt, have been better if the officer had confined his men to the barracks after the first disturbance, but the regiment had been only recently embodied, and the officers themselves had but very limited experience. Immediately after the occurrence the regiment was ordered from Kinsale to Cork, where it was kept during the inquiry; and with regard to the future he understood it was to be removed to England. With respect to the conduct of the constabulary on the occasion, they obeyed strictly the orders which they received from the local Justices of the Peace, and no fault was attributable to them. As to the conduct of the Antrim Militia while they were at Carrickfergus, it was true that a disturbance did occur at Carrickfergus on the 16th of August, 1858, but it was of no great importance, and it took place on the day on which the drill of the regiment terminated, when they were about to be disembodied, and no serious consequences resulted from the affair.