TITHE FIGHT NEAR KILKENNY.
THE following, from the Kilkenny Journal of Saturday, is a more particular account of the murder of the Policemen, which we noticed in
the second edition of our last Number. "On Wednesday evening, the 14th instant, a large party of Police, under the command of Mr. Gib- bons, Police Chief, stationed at Piltown, went out to protect a process- server, employed in the service of latitats for tithes due to the Reverend Hans Hamilton, of Knoctopher. Early in the evening, the city was thrown into the greatest agitation by hearing that a conflict bad taken place between them and the people, in which several of the former, and two or three of the latter, were killed. A large military force imme- diately proceeded to the spot, and spent the night scouring the country, and arresting every person met with. Our reporter, on proceeding to the inquest next morning, went to the spot where the transaction occurred ; and by his minute inquiry and observation, together with the accounts which previously reached town, and that in the Evening Post of Thursday, which seems to be from an authentic source, but written immediately after the occurrence, we are led to conclude that the fol- lowing are the facts. A large body of people accompanied the Police throughout the day, and made several demands to have the process- server delivered to them that he might be forced to cat the latitats ; hut
resorted to no violence. About two o'clock, the party reached a wild part of the common of Canickshock, three miles from Knoctopher ; and were proceeding in narrow files through a lane, the loose stone walls to which were so low, that the lane might be said to form an un- interrupted part of the common. Here the process-server was again demanded, with a promise that no attack on the Police would be made : of course he was refused to be delivered up ; and then a young fellow darted in, seized him, tried to drag him from the Police, and was im- mediately shot—some say with a pistol, by Mr. Gibbons, who at the same time gave an order to fire. A number of shots succeeded, two countrymen dropped dead, and the great body of the people instantly closed in, and killed Mr. Gibbons and eleven of the Police. The act was instantaneous, and scarcely occupied the time we have taken to re- late it. 'When our reporter visited the spot, the bodies of the Police had been removed to the Kilmasanny barrack, and those of he coun- trymen by their friends; but sufficient evidence of the slaughter re- mained in the large red patches visible where each body. dropped." " It is a curious fact," the same journal adds, "that in the first series of the Tales of the O'Hara Family, our distinguished townsmen, the Messrs. Banim' have recorded a similar catastrophe, three miles from this spot, and which occurred fifty-five years before, between the fore- fathers of those same people and a party of the King's troops. But it is more remarkable, that the cause was the same—the tithes--the accursed tithes, that now, as then, are devastating the country, subject- ing it to plunder, and staining it with blood." The bodies of? Mr. Gibbons and eleven of his men exhibited the most appalling appearances, from wounds inflicted about their heads. Mr. Gibbons was killed by a stab from a pitchfork, which, after passing through his hand, entered his side. Most of the wounds seemed to be inflicted by similar weapons ; and Dr. Peel, the medical man who looked at the bodies, said that only one death was caused by a bayonet wound. Besides the twelve whose bodies were before the Jury on the inquest, the process-server has died; and we are informed another Policeman, which, with two countrymen shot, make the whole number of sixteen deaths ascertained. There are, beside eight or ten of the Police wounded, some very seriously, and one Of whom is not expected to re- cover. The number of countrymen injured is unknown. The inquest took place on the succeeding day; only two witnesses were examined. The evidence given by the two men—both Policemen—. was very brief, and, it appears, not over satisfactory to the gentleman who was present for the Kilkenny Journal; who, after some observa- tions on the intensity of the public curiosity, the advantages of a full report, and so forth, obtained leave to cross-examine the witnesses on behalf of the press. We give this cross-examination for its curiosity, and not because there is any intense feeling of interest about what is, after all, but a very common occurrence in Ireland—a battle royal be- tween the people and the Police ; the only feature of peculiarity in the present battle being the defeat of the latter— Reporter—" Where did the firing take place?" Brown—" In the second or third front file."
"Did the Police receive orders to fire ?"—" I thought I heard Captain Gibbons say,
• Fye, fye, boys,' to the mob; but some of the Polize afterwards told me what he said was, 'Fire, fire, boys.' " •
"How many do you suppose were in the crowd?"—" About two thousand." "Were there fire-arms among them ?"—" No." "You say that you were in the front, and that before the firing commenced there, eighteen of the Police were knocked down in the rear?"—" Yes." "Were the Police who lie here dead some of those eighteen?"—" Yes." " Upon your oath, could you, who were in the front, see the Police knocked down in the rear, know that eighteen was the number so knocked down, or that those twelve men were then killed?"
"The witness," says the reporter, "here waxed wroth, and was prevented replying by the Reverend B. Morris ; who said that as the Jury had already come to a decision, he could not see the necessity for such an examination."
The confusion of " fye, fye," and "fire, fire," was alleged as the cause of the Newtownbany massacre. It is curious to observe, in this Kilkenny affair, the extreme anxiety of the reporter to make out that the Police fired before they were murdered : had they fired after, they would, we suppose, have been justified. When a couple of thousand men attack a party of peace-officers, with the avowed intention of tearing from them a law messenger, employed, not in carrying off their goods or arresting their persons, but merely in leaving a legal document at the dwellings of certain offenders,--when a mob, not in a town or market where they might be assembled by accident, and without pre- meditated intention of mischief, set on a party of peace-officers so em- ployed, on a hill-side—what .are the latter to .do, but fire? The mob accompany. the officers and process-server from place to place, until they get them into a narrow lane, where only two men can march abreast : they make a snatch at the escort of the Police, and succeed in dragging Lim from their :ranks, accompanying the violence with a shower of stones at the officers themselves ; the latter use the only means they possess of resisting the violence, not threatened, but perpetrated ; the mob, having them at the small advantage of fifty to one, magnani- mously slaughter a dozen of them, after the same fashion that a pfuty of New Zealanders would have done by some unfortunate boat's crew that they meant to make a supper of,—the difference being, that the New Zealanders would have satisfied their own hunger, and the Irish- men satisfied the hunger of their pigs with the blood of the fallen. All this done, the only question by which, according to the opinion of the public instructor of Kilkenny, the guilt of the mob is to be determined, is—whether the Policemen fired to save the unhappy process-server, on to save themselves ? Verily our brethren make curious distinctions.
A number of the mob have been taken up, and a vast number of them can be identified, as no means of concealment was made use of through- out the attack.
Government has intimated a readiness to give every support to the clergy of Carlow, Kilkenny, Kildare, and Queen's County, in compel- ling payment of their legal dues. This:is veil proper: the denial of tithes which pseudo-patriots are encouraging in respect to individual clergymen, many of them most excellent persons, and all of them pos- sessing an undoubted right of equity as well as law in what they claim, is dishonest. The modification or abolition of tithes, if neces- sary and called for, is a legitimate object of pursuit; but, till the law be altered and compensation provided, the existing clergy are no more to be defrauded of their sole means of livelihood, than any other class of persons whom the law protects in the enjoyment of pro- perty, howsoever acquired. Subscriptions are making in Ireland to enable the clergy in the above counties to prosecute their claims. At a special meeting of the Grand Lodge, held at Dublin on Mon- day, Lords Roden, Mandeville, Farnham, and several others of the nobility and gentry who assembled at the late Protestant meeting, were inaugurated into the mysteries of the order. A meeting of King's County was held on Monday, at Tullamore, to agree on a petition respecting the Reform Bill ; Lord Rossmore was in the chair, and six thousand persons were present. The resolutions and petitions were agreed to untinimomily.
There was a meeting of the Irish barristers in Dublin, on Saturday, on the subject of Lord Plunkett's proposed amendment of the Equity Bill: resolutions in condemnation of its principle were adopted.
The Cork Southern kporter contains a statement, headed "Diabo- lical Plot to Fire the Palace of' the Bishop of Cork :" the paragraph relates to an alleged attempt of a. man stained Ahern, to prevail on the inf,;emer, Fitzgerald, to burn the palace, in consequence of the Bishop's 1.ote against the Reform Bill. The affair has been investigated by the Magistrates ; who have seen so far into the matter as to leave Ahem at large. Every churchyard in the North of Ireland, within the range of steam- boats, is beset nightly by a set of resurrectionists. A very extensive trade in dead bodies is at present carrying on with Glasgow.--Irish Paper.