Research Help: Outrage or Police Reports

The Chief Constables of the police force were required to write reports to their superiors on incidents in their localities. These reports are called ‘Outrage Reports’ and while not all are extant, some are and stored in the National Archives of Ireland. They are sorted, by year and by county. The following is a selection of reports for the year 1836 relating to County Galway. The report as written and sent to the superior. Bartholomew Warburton was the Resident Constabulary Magistrate or Police Magistrate in 1834 for Ballinasloe, and Major G. Warburton was the Inspector General of the Police Force, by 1836 Wm. (William) Warburton was the Chief Magistrate for Ballinasloe. The Chief Magistrate, reads each report and gave it a title or description in order that it could be listed in an index. He also marked his date of reading on the report. Only a few such dates are included here, but all are within a few days of the report being written by the Chief Constable. Some of these reports are easy to read while others are indecipherable or almost so usually because of the handwriting but sometimes because of the fact that the ink has faded in the intervening years. The indices to these Outrage reports are on the open shelves in the National Archives, Dublin.

The examples below give some idea of the kind of information held in these documents when they do exist for an area

Rescue of Cattle Distrained for Rent (title given by Chief Magistrate)
11th October 1836 (date Chief Magistrate read this report)

On Thursday the 6th instant, Willm. Muhoe, river to Mr. Fair of Clougher, went on the lands of Cangovribb in the parish and barony of Koss, where he distrained some cattle, the property of Mr. Patrick Jennings of Kilbride, for arrears of rent due to Mr. Fair, out of said lands of Cangorribb by the said Jennings, who by force and threats, rescued and took said cattle out of Muhoes possession or (?Mulroe)
Samuel Smith
Chief Constable 2nd class.
October 8th 1836 (date report was written)

Highway Robbery With Violence
12th October 1836
The Chief Constable has been called upon to state what measures have been adopted by the Police for the discovery of the offenders – Magistrate’s note.

On the Evening of the 9th instant a man named Patrick McDermott of Dangan Parish of Abbyknock….y was violently assaulted, knocked down and robbed of seven shillings by three men as yet unknown.
M.N. Wright
Chief Constable 1st Class
Tuam 11th October 1836

Attack upon a House
Wm Warburton 11th October 1836

On Friday night the 7th instant a party of men attacked the dwelling house of Edward Larkan of Isker Parish of Clonfert Barony of Longford and broke all his windows with stones. Larkan and his family were in bed at the time and received several blows of the stones as they lay quite close to the windows they didn’t receive any serious injury.
Larkan cannot assign any cause why such an attack should be made on him ………..
Samuel Abbott
Chief Constable. 2nd class

Police Report
In compliance of the annexed requisition; I assembled a large police force in Ballinasloe during the great fair of that town and made such arrangements which I am happy to say that the peace was preserved; very drunken persons were seen at it; the New Act in that case has had a most salutatory effect. There was a great assemblege of persons of all ranks.
Wm. Warburton
Chief Magistrate
9th Oct 1836

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

Maiming cattle – 3rd October 1836
On the night of the 29th or the morning of the 30th Whitmore (September ) there were two horses the property of Patrick Lyons of the townland of Mulloughmore, Parish of Moyloughs and Barony of Tyaquin were maliciously stabbed. On hearing of the outrage I proceeded to the place forthwith and found it to be the case, when on a minute inspection of the wounds it then appeared to have been inflicted by a pitchfork, the Perpetrators of this inhuman Outrage are as of yet undiscovered, nor no reason can be assigned whatever as the cause of same.
James Joyce,
Chief Constable Police 2nd Class
Mount Bellew Bridge
1st October 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
Chief Constable 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
Chief Constable 2nd Class
Sept 29th 1836