IMA Source Catalog

Gathering all the sources for historical Irish martial culture in one place.

THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Monday, April 12, 1824

RIOT AT MAGHERA

     John Hogan, Pat Linn, Joseph Lennie, Peter Dillon, Mathew Glass, James M’Clusky, Bernard O’Neil, Francis M’Laine, Hugh M’Kenna, jun., Owen M’Shane, Hugh M’Kenna, sen. and Neil M’Laine, were arraigned for riotiously assembling at Maghera on the 12th day of June last, and then and there assaulting the house of Hugh MacCracken, &c.
     As his Lordship intimated that he did not intend to proceed in the case of the riots this evening,
     Counsellor Doherty moved, that the prisoners now arraigned might be allowed to remain out till the morning.
     Sir James Galbraith (Crown Solicitor) expressed his unwillingness.
      Mr. Doherty then moved that the persons of the other party charged with rioting might also be arraigned and committed to gaol. He conceived Sir James could not object to this.
     Crown Solicitor- “Certainly not- I have only one rule for both parties.”
     Mr. Irwin then arraigned Samuel Clark, James Sloss, Charles Rainey, Hugh M’Cracken, Joseph Sloss, James M’Cleery, James Scot, John Armstrong, George Scot, James Hipson, and others for a riot at Maghera in June last.
     The prisoners were then remanded to gaol, and the Court, after transacting some unimportant business, adjourned.

CONCILIATION

     SATURDAY, APRIL 3- The Court assembled this morning at nine o’clock. After his Lordship had taken his seat.
     Mr. Rolleston stated, that he had been informed this morning, and he felt great pleasure in making the communication, that the prisoners, of both the parties, to be tried for being concerned in the fatal riots at Maghera, in June last, who were arraigned last night, and sent to gaol, had, in the prison, shaken hands and were mutually willing, for the future to abstain from all display of party feeling, and to live in good fellowship and neighborhood, and hoped the Court would allow them to return home without being brought to trial. As such a wish had proceeded from themselves, and had, he believed, been in some degree anticipated by the Counsel on both sides, he would put it as a suggestion to the Court, whether the discharge of the prisoners now might not tend as much to tranquilize the part of the country from whence they came as proceeding against them by trial. The Learned Gentleman enforced the suggestion in a strain of very powerful eloquence, and concluded by expressing his anxious hope that such a measure, if adopted, would tend permanently to place the country in a state of repose, and for ever to prevent in that Court a development of practices similar to those charged against the prisoners.
     Mr. Justice Vandeleur- If such a course as had been suggested would have the effect of allaying the bad feeling, and preventing such outrages as had unfortunately existed, and had been perpetrated between the two parties, I would be delighted in contributing any thing in the power of the Court towards it.
     As  the wish of the parties could only be obtained through the Agents concerned.-
     Mr. Attorney Falls, as agent for one class of the prisoners, stated, that if such a measure could be carried into effect, and that the reconciliation was sincere, there was no objection on his side; but he begged that his Lordship would not make any order until his Counsel would be present.
     His Lordship acquiesced, and Mr. Doherty having come into Court, Mr. Rolleston again made his application.
     Counsellor Doherty then stated, that if he were confident that the suggestion offered by the Counsel on the opposite side, on the part of his clients, was offered by them in the spirit of forbearance and conciliation, his clients would be the last persons in the county to stand in the way of such an arrangement; on the contrary, notwithstanding the unfortunate and melancholy occurrences which have happened, they would make every exertion to forward any measure which might tend to restore tranquility to that distracted part of the country. Their object was not to obtain any victory over their neighbours, by the result of the prosecutions-but by a fair and impartial trial, to have the unfortunate transaction probed to the bottom and thoroughly investigated, that the public might know who were in fault, nad the judicature of the county award the merited punishment. If, however, the two parties have come to a determination to forgive the past, and be reconciled for the future, the professional gentlemen concerned would ill perform their duty, if they did not make every exertion in their power to carry it into effect. They are rejoiced at such a conclusion, and I am confident the very respectable gentleman beside me (Mr. Falls) from the instructions  he has given his Counsel, will, as he had done already, do all in his power to promote and cherish it. “I hope,” concluded the learned gentleman, “I sincerely trust it is a cordial and not a hollow reconciliation which is wished; and that we shall never see the prisoners again at the bar, charged with a similar offence. I am confident the impressive and solitary admonishment of the bench would go a great way to completely effect mutual forgiveness, and prevent every dangerous manifestation of party spirit. However, without Mr. Sheil I cannot agree to such a recommendation as has been communicated to me for the first time since I came into Court.”
     Sir James Galbraith, the Crown Solicitor, said he was willing, if the Court would allow it, to abide by the opinion of the two respectable Catholic gentlemen now in his view, (Captain Small and Mr. Surgeon Henry) who were resident in the vicinity of the outrages, as to the effect which a measure as had been suggested would have in confirming the future peace and tranquility of any country.
     Counsellor Sheil at this moment entered the Court, and began to consult with his junior colleague, Mr. Doherty.
     Mr. Justice Vandeleur-It would be a great breach of duty, to the Court, to be accessary to a hollow reconciliation. If the outrages be renewed the individuals might rely on being visited by the condign vengeance of the laws. The Court was prepared to attend to the wishes of Counsel on both sides.
     The Clerk of the Crown then called over the names of both classes of prisoners. They mingled together in the dock, apparently good natured.
     Counsellor Deering (turning round and addressing the prisoners in the dock)-“Are you all willing to be good friends and neighbours and to be fully reconciled?”
     Prisoners-“Yes, we are.”
     Sir James Galbraith wished his “Lordship to permit him to ask the prisoners a question. Are ye ______”
     His Lordship- “Sir James, it might be better not. Gentlemen, (addressing both sides of the bar) can the Court now proceed?”
     Counsellors Rolleston and Sheil- “Your Lordship may.”
     His Lordship in a most impressive manner proceeded to address the prisoners to the following effect:- “Prisoners, you all stand charged with being concerned in teh perpetration of an outrage, the circumstances of which, having been already disclosed to the Court in a trial which has taken place, appears to have been of the greatest enormity, and such as are disgraceful to civilized society. I do not say that any of you are guilty, for you have not yet been tried; but you all stand charged with participating in an outrage, followed by consequences most fatal, and such as I never heard before a Court of Justice. I have been informed, and know, that this riot originated in different party feeling- a feeling which, if persisted in, will prove ruinous to the welfare of the country, and your own individual prosperity. It will be most satisfactory to me, if you are now cordially determined that all past differences and animosity should subside, and that you shall all live in harmony and good neighbourhood- you have so professed yourselves and for the sake of growing prosperity of this country, and for your own sake, I hope that your determination is sincere. If your expressed wish to be reconciled proves honest, your country will feel deeply interested in the occurrence of this day; for the peace of that district in which you reside depends on the sincerity of your profession. I do fervently hope and trust, that what you have stated to your Counsel is true, and that you have really determined to live hereafter as good friends and neighbors and to follow your lawful avocations in amity and cordiality. If your professions prove hollow, and a mere pretext in order to avoid dreaded punishment at present, and if you should again be brought into this Court, before me, or any other Judge, and found guilty of a similiar offence, the recollection of this day will be visited on and with augmented severity of punishment; for had you been convicted this day, your punishment would have been severe and exemplary. In the hope that your professions are sincere, and that you will return home good friends, and neighbours, and live in harmony and friendship, the Court consents that you now be discharged on being bound over in 20l. each of personal security, to appear at the next Assizes if called upon.
     Counsellor Shoales, in a low tone, addressed a few words across the bench to his Lordship.
     His Lordship- “I am glad you mentioned it, Mr. Schoales. Prisoners, before you retire, let me admonish you, that the best mode of showing the sincerity of what you have now promised, will be, on your return home, to abstain carefully form any expression of triumph-none of you have had a triumph-you stood charged, and have mutually agreed to be reconciled.”
     Counsellor Deering- “My Lord, before your Lordship spoke, I was also obtaining from the parties a promise to abstain hereafter from all processions, and irritating displays of different religious feelings and opinions.”
     His Lordship cordially seconded the object of Mr. Deering, and expressed his earnest hope and desire that the parties would avoid all processions and displays of party difference.
     The Clerk of the Crown having then repeated the form of the recognizance, the prisoners retired.
     The utmost satisfaction, with this pleasing result, was expressed by all present; the intelligence soon spread through the city, and was every where received with feelings of genuine pleasure.
     In the evening the individuals of the two parties joined together in harmonious circles, and, over the social glass, forgave and forgot their former animosities.

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January 24, 2009 - Posted by | court, Faction fight descriptions, Old Newspaper clippings

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