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!! Ballina Chronicle; July 3, 1850; Riot at Mountkennet Workhouse

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Co. Mayo Wednesday, July 3, 1850 RIOT AT MOUNTKENNET WORKHOUSE - The Limerick Reporter contains the following statement: - It
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2006
      Ballina, Co. Mayo
      Wednesday, July 3, 1850

      RIOT AT MOUNTKENNET WORKHOUSE - The Limerick Reporter contains the
      following statement: - It appears that two boys, having committed some
      misdemeanour, the temporary master, Mr. James Morrison, deprived the
      delinquents of their morning meal, when the entire number of paupers in the
      house, with hardly one exception, rose up en masse and declared they would
      not submit to have any of their number treated in such a cruel manner. Mr.
      Morrison, finding his utmost efforts to quell the disturbance without avail,
      sent for the police, and twenty three of the city force under Head-constable
      Joynt and Constable Shannon, and accompanied by Dr. Gibson, J.P., went
      promptly on the spot. On their arrival the yard was filled with a tumultuous
      mob, yelling most vociferously, shouting and flinging stones at random at
      the windows, and into the adjoining streets and quay, while a large portion
      of them were collected around an immense breach in the outer wall, of thirty
      feet long and twenty feet high, which, upon learning that the police were
      sent for, they had made as a means of effecting their escape from street.
      The police having drawn up in the dining hall, Dr. Gibson ordered the yard
      to be cleared, but the moment the door was opened a volly of stones was
      directed against the constables, one of which inflicted a deep gash on the
      cheek of Constable Hunt. The door was instantly shut to, and for some time
      longer the rioters continued shouting and huzaaing at the retreat of the
      police, and challenged them to venture amongst them again. In the meantime
      the men fixed bayonets in the hall, and seizing an opportunity when the
      paupers' attention seemed to be divided, Head Constable Joynt rushed out,
      followed by the entire party, and threw the rioters into complete confusion.
      Stones, however, continued to be thrown by the persons most remote from the
      police, wounding and greatly annoying many of the men, who were prevented
      from seeing their assailants by the obstinacy of the rioters, who firmly
      withstood every effort to pass through the crowd. The assault continuing, an
      order was given to charge, and the police did charge with fixed bayonets.
      Fortunately, no serious wounds were inflicted, although the ferocity of the
      rioters was so great that some of them caught the bayonets by the points,
      and struggled with the constables. The contest continued for over an hour,
      and the police, in the course of it, evinced the most exemplary forbearance,
      suffering themselves to be wounded with stones in the head and body, and yet
      exhibiting no exasperation against their assailants. A guard stationed at
      the breach prevented any persons from leaving by that means of exit, and
      thus saved the citizens from being annoyed as on the occasion of the late
      riots. The police, however, used the butts of their muskets rather freely,
      in a short time the malcontents were locked up in their wards, having
      suffered several contusions on shoulders, legs and arms from the carbines.
      Sub-constable Mayburne had his nose and cheek split from a blow of a stone,
      and Head-constable Joynt received a severe blow on the ancle, and some less
      serious blows on the hands and head. Sub-constable Noble had his thumb split
      and others of the men experienced similar injuries. No arrests were made, as
      it was impossible to distinguish, where all were disorderly, who were most

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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