SELECT COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES (IRELAND).
117 the Fishery Acts, and to riots and other disturbances occasioned by poaching Sir R.
De Burgho, or its causes.
Have you any further information to give to the Committee on
Bart-those subjects ?â€”I
am anxious to hand in a copy of a report made from the ?~Z
j^J~*( coast-guard station at Coonagh.
arc * 49' 1843.
Where is Coonagh?â€”It
is a few miles below Limerick, close to Mr.
It is with reference to a riotous asÂ¬ semblage of persons that took place there on 22 June 1848, and their proceedÂ¬ ing to level the stake weirs between the station and Grass Island.
\_The witness delivered in the same, which is as follows :]
Coast Guard Station, Coonagh, Sir?
23 June 1848.
I beg to inform you that on yesterday all the cot fishermen belonging to the city, and both sides of the river, mustered, to the number of 300 or 400 men, and proceeded down the river, destroyed all the salmon weirs between this station and Grass Island, except two or three that I succeeded in protecting.
I gave the alarm to the police on both sides of the river before they came down; the police could do nothing, and only for my interference at Green's Island, they would hurt the police; they chased them through the mud.
We had no breach of the peace but the cutting of the weirs; the proprietors of them know all the parties concerned, consequently they will he able to prosecute them.
I left nothing undone, as far as the law protected me, except using our arms, and that I consider I could not do except in self-defence.
I remain, Sir, your most obedient servant, Michael Sweeney, -chief boatman.
Captain Montagu Pasco, R.
Coast Guard, Kilrush.
That relates to riots.
Have you anything with regard to prosecutions ?â€”Yes;
I have a paper that is published of the Dublin Term Reports in the Queen's Bench.
The date of this is Saturday, June the 1st, 1844.
Does it relate to prosecutions ?â€”Yes.
Do you hand it in as part of your evidence ?â€”I
What does it refer to?â€”It
refers to a prosecution against a weir.
The case is, The Queen at the prosecution of William Ryan v.
It was a prosecution that took place for a weir being erected on the Bandon River.
[The Witness delivered in the following Paper:]
Dublin Term Reports.
Queen's Bench, Saturday, June the 1st, 1844.
The Queen at the prosecution of William Ryan v.
Bennett, q, c, showed cause against a conditional order to set aside a verdict of guilty entered up at the last assizes of Cork, before the Lord Chief Baron, and enter up a verdict of not guilty.
Indictment for obstructing the River Bandon, which was an ancient and navigable river and highway, &c.
&c, by the erecting of weirs for taking fish, and thereby preventing the free and uninterrupted navigation of the liver.
There was a second count for erecting a stake weir in a part of the river where the breadth of the channel at low water of spring tides was less than the 3-4tbs of a mile wide, the defendant not being the owner of a several fishery.
Defendant's counsel at the trial submitted that the Chief Baron should have told the jury, if they believed there was any obstruction caused by the weir, that if the advantage counterbalanced the inconvenience caused by the obstruction they should find for the defendant, and that if there was a reasonable space left for navigable vessels, notwithstandÂ¬ ing the weirs, they should also find for defendant, and that unless they believed the obstrucÂ¬ tion to be substantial, that is, that great inconvenience was occasioned by it, they should also find for the defendant.
The Chief Baron declined doing so, and thejury finding that the navigation was obstructed but to a very trifling degree, the Chief Baron directed them if that was their opinion to find a verdict of guilty on the first count, leaving it to the defendants to move to set it aside.
Bennett and Mr.
Corbet for prosecution.â€”"
As to the point of the benefit counterÂ¬ balancing the injury, that is decided by Rex v.
In that case the law was reversed, ^.nd
though the obstruction was trifling and a public benefit occurred by reason of the erecÂ¬ tion of an embankment, yet the Court refused to allow a verdict of not guiliy to be entered, overruling Rex v.
Russell, which was the case where there was room for navigable vessels, and the alleged obstruction was a wharf for facilitating the landing of coals; yet Lord Ten-0.40.