HL Deb 01 March 1839 vol 45 cc1045-6
The Earl of Roden

wished to ask of the noble Marquess opposite, whether he had any objection to lay on the Table papers relative to a melancholy outrage which had occurred during the time the noble Marquess filled the office of Lord-lieutenant of Ireland. Those of their Lordships who were on the Committee which sat last Session to inquire into Irish Education, would recollect that a gentleman was examined before that Committee who filled the situa- tion of chief officer of the coast-guard at Achill. That gentleman stated, that the Roman Catholic priests at the island of Achill persecuted the Protestants in that part of the country, and excited the peasantry to annoy and molest them in every possible way. In consequence of the information so given before the Committee going forth to the public through the different newspapers, very great violence of conduct was manifested amongst the peasantry towards Mr. Reynolds, who nevertheless persevered in the zealous and active performance of his duty as chief coast officer. Unhappily, however, within the last two months, this unfortunate gentleman had been murdered, while watching some wrecks in the neighbourhood. He was followed into a house, and there killed. This was a very serious occurrence; because, if it appeared that the evidence which Mr. Reynolds gave before a Committee of their Lordships' House was the cause of his murder when he returned to Achill, it went to show the deplorable situation in which the Protestants of Ireland were placed. He should, therefore, move for "all papers relative to the murder of Mr. Francis Reynolds, late chief officer of the coast-guard at the Island of Achill."

The Marquess of Sligo

said, certain persons who were charged with having committed the murder were at present in gaol; and it would be better if the noble Earl would postpone his motion till the decision of the jury on the case were made known.

The Marquess of Normanby

said, his noble Friend near him had anticipated what he was going to say in answer to the noble Earl.

Motion withdrawn.

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