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MUTINY OF THE TIPPERARY MILITIA.

[From the Examiner, July 12.] A most disgraceful series of outrages occurred at Nenagh on Monday and Tuesday, consequent upon the preparations for the disembodiment of the North Tipperary Militia, now stationed in that town. The 'Limerick Reporter supplies this version of the affair :—: —

" Nenagh, July 7. " For the past week an order has been received at the barracks that any soldier who chose might, on application to the colonel, obtain his discharge. An order having also been received to take up the new clothing issued to the militia in April last, yesterday morning a sergeant commenced to take up the clothing from the men, when some few quietly gave it up. One man refused to give away his black trousers, whereupon he was sent to the guardhouse. In a very short time afterwards the company to which he belonged (No. 4 company) came down to the guardhouse to rescue him. The guard was ordered to fire, which they did not, I believe, owing to their having no ammunition. The men, however, desisted, but in a very short time after the five companies quartered in Pound-street barracks came to Summerhill barracks, as is their custom every day, for the purpose of being drilled. Hearing that the man was confined, they simultaneously fixed bayonets and rushed at the guardroom, flinging the guard away, and with their guns and stones they broke open the cell doors and let out all the prisoners, at the same time demolishing the windows, doors, seats, &c. The colonel (Maude) came down, and I am told a soldier attempted to stab him. They all declared that they never would part with their arms until they should be paid the residue of their bounty, and also be let take their clothes with them . After some time they were brought into line by the colonel and major, and addressed upon the enormity of their conduct. The Rev. J. Scanlan, P. P. of Nenagh, came up at the time and addressed them. The address of the reverend gentleman had a good effect upon the militiamen, but they at the same time firmly declared that they would not give up their arms until their bounty was paid. All this time the barrack gate was shut, and no one was admitted. When the men stationed in Pound-street were returning to their barracks they were loudly cheered as they went through the streets. The greatest excitement prevailed at the time, but since the Rev. Mr. Scanlan has appeared there all seems quiet. When the men stationed in Pound-street were about being marched to Summerhill barracks they refused to go without their arms.

"Monday night, 10 o'clock.

" Of all the scenes veal or imaginary that an inhabitant of Nenagh ever saw or read of, that of this night threw them all into the shade. At ten o'clock the militia stationed in the Pound-street barracks broke out of the gate, knocking down sergeants and sentries. Carrying with them their guns, with fixed bayonets, they went through the town, to the terror of the inhabitants, yelling and shouting. They first attacked the police barrack in Summerhill, the windows of 1 which they quickly demolished with stones. They then in an irregular body proceeded to Summerhill barracks, the gate of which was closed, and commenced to pummel it with the butt ends of their muskets. In this way they quickly opened the gate and broke into the magazine, from which, with a wise precaution, the officers had removed the ammunition. Not finding it, they forced out the band, who played them through the streets, which tended to keep them in a regular body. They first marched down to the police barrack in Barrack-street, firing shots at intervals all the way. When they arrived at the police barrack they demolished the windows with stones, together with the house of Mr. Bulk, petty sessions clerk. The baud played them back again to Pound-street barracks, where they halted for a short time, and agMn played down Barrack-street, firing at intervals of a minute all the way, to the terror and dismay of the inhabitants, not many of whom slept all the night. The militia were followed by a large concourse of the townspeople, who kept up a regular cheer. They continued marching through the streets in this manner until twelve o'clock. It is thought they purchased powder and shot during the day in the town. "When they fired it was in the air ; all they said they wanted was to force the authorities to give them their bounty. It is said that a regiment of the line is to arrive here to-morrow to quell the mutiny. The militia say they will keep their arms ; that, if such be the case, they will fight to the last ; and that they may as well die at once as die with hunger after being disbanded without a shilling in their pockets. During the whole time no officer or sergeant dared approach them. Sergeant Cole was knocked down with a blow of a firelock when the party first left the Pound-street Barracks. It is believed that the ammunition had been removed to the gaol when the rioters were leaving the barracks. They seemed to have their vengeance particularly directed against the police, who very wisely kept within their barracks, " Tuesday morning. " A great many of the soldiers are going about the town this morning. I learn that they did get ammunition in the magazine last night. Before going home they attacked the gaol, smashing all the glass in the large windows over the drop. The appearance of the two police barracks this morning was frightful ; not a whole pane of glass was left in either ; the sashes and shutters were smashed to pieces, as were also the windows of Mr. William Bull's house, adjoining the police barrack, in Barrack-street. The house of Mr. John Kennedy, in Silver-street, shared a similar fate. There was a great number of balls picked up in the streets this morning. The militia are certain that there will be artillery in to-day to put a stop to the rioting, and are preparing to resist them — if such be the case there will be awful bloodshed. The town is ' greatly excited. When the regiment was coming from Tralee all the ammunition was taken from them, •nhich accounts for the guard not firing yesterday when called on to do so. When the officer told them to load, they answered, 'What will \ie load with?' and allowed the prisoners to be taken out of the l guardhouse. It was -while coming out of the barracks with a hnvresack of ammunition that,

Sergeant Cole was knocked dowa. The scene that was enacted baffles all description. The men did not sleep in their barracks all night, but remained up watching. There arc plenty of guua and bayonets smashed. Some foolish persons posted notices oa both barrack-gates, telling them to keep their ground inside, and that the people would mind the outside. The rioting continued all the day."

The following later particulars of the mutiny at Nenagh was received in Dublin, on Wednesday evening, by magnetic telegraph :—: — " Nenagh, Tuesday night. "At four o'clock this evening 520 men of the 30th, 41st, 47th, and 55th regiments, under command of Colonel Hart, arrived from Templemore, and marched up to the Summerhill Barracks, having previously loaded their pieces. Contrary to expectation, the gate was thrown open, when they marched in and formed into line in the barrack-square. The militia having formed opposite them, they were asked to give up their arms, which they refused. The Riot Act was then read and the square cleared of all civilians, and both parties stood opposite one another, the militia remaining firm in their determination to keep their arms. In the meantime a body of militia who had stopped straggling about the town, commenced firing outside the barrack-gate. One man fired a shot through the keyhole of the wicket, and killed a soldier inside. Another body went round the walls, and fired several shots at the troops, three of whom, it is said, were mortally wounded, and two others slightly. A part of the troops were then sent to chase them away, but the militia got into lanes and nooks, and fired at the troops as they passed. General Chatterton arrived at eight o'clock to reinforce the troops from Templemore. The police barracks were strongly barricaded, and none of the police stirred out. They were reinforced early in the morning by men from the surrounding districts. The firing of the militia and troops continued up to nine o'clock. Five or six men were wounded and one killed. In Pound-street three of the militia were killed. An industrious man named Gibbons, in Poundstreet, was shot dead by the regulars. At half-past nine o'clock all was quiet, and at eleven o'clock a troop of lancers arrived from Limerick. The militia were taken prisoners ; they have lost three killed and eight wounded."

A second edition of the Limerick Reporter contains the following particulars : —

" Nenagh, Wednesday. " The town is quiet to-day. It is said that the militia who were taken with arms in their hands last night will be tried by the civil power. A great many deserted last night, taking their arms and appointments with them. The firing at nine o'clock last night in Pound-street was terrific. It was there all the damage was done. The number of militia wounded in barracks is six, and it is supposed many of those who went away are wounded. Eight or ten soldiers of the line are wounded. In the case of Peter Gibbons, who was shot by one of the 55th Regiment, the jury returned the following verdict: — 'Deceased came to his death by the effects of a gunshot wound inflicted by a soldier of the 55th Regiment j that such firing was unjustifiable ; and that the troops might have used more discretion in firing into the house of a respectable man, having fired ten rounds into deceased's house.' " In the case of Patrick Curley, 41st Regiment, who had but recently returned from the Crimea, and was present at the battles of Alma, Inkermann, and Balaklava, the verdict was that his death was caused by a soldier of the North Tipperary Militia ; but the verdict was subsequently modified by the omission of the sentence inculpating the militia, as it was urged that the evidence was not sufficiently clear that the shot which killed Curley was fired by a militiaman, j

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NENZC18561119.2.7

Bibliographic details

MUTINY OF THE TIPPERARY MILITIA., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XV, Issue 67, 19 November 1856

Word Count
1,757

MUTINY OF THE TIPPERARY MILITIA. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XV, Issue 67, 19 November 1856

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