21 AUGUST 1886, Page 3

Last Saturday night, Belfast was the scene of a moon-

light rifle-duel between the Orangemen and the Roman Catholics, which resulted in two or three deaths and several injuries. It is said that the duel went on for several hours without any interference of the police or soldiers, the non- combatants on both sides bringing up the ammunition to the combatants, and clearing away all that could inter- fere with their work. For the shooting of Isaac Weir Jackson by the police quartered in M'Kenna's public-house during that night, nine Belfast constables were found guilty of murder by the coroner's inquest, and have since been arrested for trial. Since Sunday morning there has been no more violence, but the people of Belfast are very naturally disgusted with the incompetence shown in the events of the last fortnight, and we notice that many of the Pro- testants are asking to have Belfast supplied with a police force on the Metropolitan type,—i.e., the type of London or Dublin,—and to have stipendiary magistrates, with thorough professional training, substituted for the incompetent municipal authorities of their borough. Doubtless both these reforms would be very wholesome, and would contribute something to the cause of order. But so long as you have two great parties in the borough delighting in the fray, and believing that they do well to be angry, you will not succeed in keeping them permanently apart. With Orange bitterness and Catholic infatuation side by side, it is nearly impossible in times of excitement that some little spark should not pass from the one to the other, and then an explosion is inevitable.