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!! Ballina Chonicle; June 5, 1850; Disturbances at Limerick Workhouse

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Mayo, Ireland Wednesday, June 5, 1850 DISTURBANCES AT LIMERICK WORKHOUSE Outrageous Conduct of the Paupers In our last we gave the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2006
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      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, June 5, 1850

      Outrageous Conduct of the Paupers
      In our last we gave the investigation at the workhouses, consequent
      upon the charges of neglect brought forward and substantiated by Mr. Thomas
      Browne, guardian for Patrick st. ward, against the officers, in connexion
      with the supply of clothing requisites, and accounts for same. The result of
      that inquiry, as our readers are aware, led to the resignation of Mr. Scott,
      master of the establishment. We also published the melee that occurred on
      Wednesday when the paupers of the central workhouse, with those of the
      William st., Boherbuoy and Mountkennett auxiliaries "turned out," with a
      view of demonstrating their regret," with at Mr. Scott's departure, or, we
      might say, to compel the board, vi et armis, to retain him in a situation,
      the duties of which he had discharged since the introduction of the Poor-law
      into Limerick, and the opening of the workhouse in this union. Owing to the
      outrageous conduct that took place on Wednesday the authorities were obliged
      to call in the aid of Military and Police to disperse the turbulent rioters,
      who that evening retired to their respective quarters.
      On Thursday, however, the malcontents, amused by the previous day's
      "gambols" again revolted, the inmates of the Clare st. auxiliary, in charge
      of Mrs. Sleeman, having alone stood aloof; and it is worthy of record that
      to the moral influence of this amiable lady over the females in the
      establishment, is alone attributable so laudable a proof of her
      qualifications to fill an office in a more suitable sphere. From an early
      hour the paupers paraded the streets, rife for mischief and plunder, rather
      than for the ostensible object of achieving the restoration of the workhouse
      master; be this as it may, the aspect was alarming and Mr. Barron, R.M.,
      took the necessary precaution of having the Police and Military on the
      alert, should their services be called into requisition. The central
      workhouse, at the North Strand, was besieged by from 4,000 to 5,000 paupers,
      who evinced all the usual symptoms of riot and disorder. On his way to the
      workhouse, Mr. Barron encountered a "tumultuous mob (about 400) coming into
      the city headed by a fellow named John M'Mahon, wh carried an effigy,
      dressed in pauper's clothing, with a sheet of paper attached, displaying the
      following: "Blind George Gloster- Thomas Browne, the robber (figure of a
      coffin) - Lynch, the brute - May the devil have them all." Mr. Barron
      promptly made a prisoner of the ringleader, who as at once handed over to
      the Police. At the workhouse the paupers behaved most violently, and were it
      not for the firmness displayed by the authorities, the consequences would
      have proved fatal. The Mayor, Alderman Watson, Thomas Boyse, Lt. Col. Doyle,
      and Pierce G. Barron, Esqrs., were up at the scene of riot, with
      Sub-Inspector Williams, the City Police, and a company of the 1st Royals.
      The appearance of the force only conduced to exasperate the rioters and
      volley after volley of stones were thrown, which injured many persons, yet,
      the forbearance of the authorities was surprising. The Magistrates were
      hooted and pelted, with the fiendish "war cry" of the women as they shouted
      vociferously, sounded in all quarters. The Sergeant Major of the 1st Royals
      received a blow of a large stone in the side of the head, which inflicted a
      serious wound from the efforts of which he is confined in hospital.
      Head-Constable Daly was struck with a paving stone in the abdomen and
      knocked down; Sub-Constable Ryan, City Police, got a blow from a stone on
      the left side of the face, which was severely cut under the eye, while
      Sub-Constables Bowers and Gibson received cuts on the ear from missiles. The
      authorities behaved nobly in such trying circumstances and by their
      persevering executions, were ultimately successful in subduing the
      outrageous multitude, and restoring order. In the dispersing the immense
      crowd the Justices sent the Police through the City, to take up all paupers
      found straggling and over 100 were committed to the City gaol.-- Limerick

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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