Tithes in Ireland: first report

Back to Search Bibliographic Data Print

35 sorry to recommend their employment generally upon such a duty, and my reason is G. 
J%*f«>aW, this; it is necessary to scatter small parties of police in stations several miles Esq. 
removed from any kind of support; and if the police were habitually brought into * angry collision with the people, by perpetually enforcing that odious impost, they ** January 183a. 
would become such marked objects in the country, that I should be apprehensive that they would be cut off in detail, and indeed I have felt it my duty to recom-mend to the Government, in my official communications, that whenever it became necessary to enforce the payment of tithe, the military should be employed as much as possible, and that the police should, wherever practicable, be kept in the back ground. 
But with respect to the troops, I should be ashamed to say what force it would require in Ireland to enforce the payment of tithe ; for as almost every parish in the South of Ireland is up and organized against the tithe, every shilling of tithe must be collected by immense masses of armed men. 
In point of fact it would require an army of police and military to collect the tithes for the Church?—In 
fact they could not be collected without, not only an army, but a most enormous army. 

24" die Jaw warn, 1832. 

Greera, Esquire, called in; and Examined. 
YOU are Resident Magistrate of the County of Kilkenny?—Yes. 
Joseph Gr«», Egq. 
How long have you held that situation ?—Ten 
months ; I was appointed in March last. 

*4 J«>uaiy 183*. 
What is the present state of the county with reference to the collection of tithe ?—Very 
bad indeed; there is opposition given in almost every part of the county. 
There are nine baronies in the county, and there is opposition in every barony, more or less. 
Does that observation apply only to the collection of tithe, or to riotous assemblages in other respects ?—It 
applies principally to the collection of tithes. 
There are parts of the county which are not disturbed. 
Have you been employed in assisting to serve tithe-processes ?—I 
What has occurred on those occasions f—Almost every time that I have been out there has been an assemblage of people, evidently for the purpose of pre-venting the service of law processes, or of taking any steps for the recovery of tithes. 
The people assembled by signals principally, .such 
as horns sounding, shouting or whistling, and, latterly, by the ringing of the chapel bells. 
When assembled they have not fire-arms, that I have ever seen, but they have forks arid sticks and scythes; the forks evidently sharpened for the purpose of giving opposition. 
When you say that they have been assembled by the ringing of the chapel bells, how are the bells of the Catholic chapels situated ?— 
The ropes of the bells mostly hang outside, so that any person can ring the bells that pleases. 
You do not mean to say that they are rung with the concurrence of the Roman-catholic clergy?—No, 
I do not. 
Were you particularly employed in the parish of Clara in serving law-processes ?—I 
I sent a party of from 50 to 60 police with the chief constable and the process-server; they went in a line parallel to the road on which I marched from Kilkenny with a company of the regiment quartered there; they met with a great deal of opposition from the people assembled from every quarter; in fact, were I not present with the military a fight would have taken place. 

^ 400. 
How many law-processes had you to serve on that occasion ?—I 
cannot answer; there were not many, but they were all served, and I got the people to dis-perse. 
I made one man a prisoner, who was particularly active and had a horn in his pocket. 
How many of the police and how many soldiers had you engaged to serve the law-processes ?—I 
think 55 police, with the chief constable, and a company of the 70th regiment. 
Do you believe that a clergyman could serve his law-processes without the assistance of the police or the soldiers ?—Certainly 
not; I do not think he could get anv person that would undertake serving them without protection. 
"177, E 2 403,