Prison Records, Co. Cork, 1830-31

There are two main means by which you can find information if it exists.

1. Newspaper reports of the time – the chances are that this would be a long search – searching for Assize reports as to who was being tried for what and then a possible report on the outcome. Usually very little details will be given.

2. A search through the official reports of the time for the county of Cork.

These are searchable only in the NAtional Archives of Ireland as far as I know

The official reports of the constabulary were indexed but for the most part these indices are mixed in with various other ones such as the Military indices.

A few years of the Police reports are indexed separately from other official reports. The indices do give the name of the person involved in the ‘crime’ and in some instances a little bit of information on what the crime was. Each name in the indices has a reference number and in many cases the original reports still exist. I don’t know about the 1831 reports, but those for 1836 are indexed separately to all other kinds of official reports as ‘Police’ or ‘Outrage’ reports. These are the letters written by each Constabulary Chief as to the incidents that occurred in his jurisdiction to his Supervisor. The 1836 reports are filed by county and when you call up one of the references you get a box of manuscripts. From there it is a case of reading through each and every one – or, those that remain legible as these are original documents and in some cases beginning to deteriorate or in very bad condition.

I doubt that the indices or the originals are filmed, because if that was the case then the National Archives of Ireland would have copies and it wouldn’t be the originals that researchers would have to read through.

The following are examples of the kind of information one finds in these outrage reports and while they relate to Co. Galway, they give you some kind of idea of what is in these documents.

On Saturday morning last, an old unmarried lady of the name of Bridget Burke residing in Bohermore in this Town was discovered in her own house suspended by the neck from a ladder to which she was tied by a silk cloth. On being taken down she was found to be quite lifeless. Some suspicion being however attached to Pat Prendergast and Bridget his wife, who some short time before resided with Miss Burke but parted on rather bad terms, they still lived in her immediate neighbourhood. They were by the Magistrates directions taken into custody. An inquest was held by the Coroner on the body on Sunday and by adjournment on yesterday when the jury acquitted the prisoners of any participation in the guilt and returned a verdict that the deceased put an end to her own life while in a state of temporary derangement.
Mark Burke
Constable ?major Police.
October 4th 1836

On the night of Saturday the 24th instant a man named Luke Ashe was beaten in a dangerous manner in that his life is despaired of on the road from his town in the parish and barony of Clonmacnoon.

From the information of some women who were on the road on their way from the market of this town Ash (sic) being stunned from the first blow it appears that two men named James Wiley and James Kelly were the principals and two others named Thos. Ward and Michael Kelly were aiding and assisting.

I succeeded this day in apprehending the principals Wiley and Kelly.
Informations will be sworn as soon as possible.
P. Arthur
C.C. 2nd Class
26th September 1836

In reference to my report of the 26th instant concerning a man named Luke Ash who had been beaten on the night of Saturday the 24th I have further to state that the parties concerned who were in custody were brought before the Magistrates at Petit Sessions and admitted to bail to abide their tryal at the ensuing assizes. Ash is not yet out of danger but the Bench were of the opinion that he was the aggressor.
P. Arthur
C.C. 2nd Class
Sept 29th 1836