| Waterford Assizes.Terence Ahearn,
John Ahearn, John Mansfield, Michael Lenane, and six others, who were indicted at these assizes for a riot at
the lands of Grilagh, in this county, on the 19th of June last, were called up for trial.
The first witness, Ch. Maunsell, stated, that he is Sub-sheriff of the county of Waterford ; recollects the l9th of June last ; on that day he went to the lands of Grilagh and Ballylangaden, in this county ; was called on as Sub-sheriff to take out a sufficient force to disperse a party, which it was understood was to meet to level houses on the lands, in case they met, and went accordingly ; issued a notice, which he directed to be copied, published, posted, and distributed, in the neighbourhood of the lands, cautioning all manner of persons from appearing at or aiding any riotous or tumultuous assemblies. When he went to the ground, saw large assemblies of people ; when be came in view of the house, be saw about 200 persons leveling it; the house was two stories high, and slated ; saw several on horseback, and others approaching from different parts of the mountain ; supposes 2 or 3000 ; they were shouting ; they had two kinds of slanes ; both were sharp ; the house was inhabited ; saw the inhabitants coming out of the house ; was accompanied by several magistrates ; they were in the act of throwing down the house ; when he came within view of the house, saw the dust of it flying ; consulted with the magistrates, and agreed that the first thing they should do was to stop the leveling of the house ; were then within view of the house, and within hearing of the mob ; but. there was a deep glen between them which it was nearly impossible to cross at said place ; witness several times called to the mob in the King's name to disperse; but instead of dispersing, said mob shouted and continued their attack on the house, and had made breaches in two angles of it ; witness hastened on with some of the Magistrates, gentlemen and constables, round by a passable part of the glen to the mob ; told the army not come up till he should first see what effect the Magistrates would have, and arranged to make a signal agreed on if their presence should be required ; being a bad horseman, and unacquainted with the ground several of the Magistrates got up before him ; when witness got up near the mob, he saw Mr. Kelly with a paper in his hand, reading it: witness several times called on the mob, told them he was Sheriff, and commanded them in the King's name to disperse, but instead of so doing they shouted ; and witness then proceeded, with his rod of office in his hand, and attempted to take one of the mob prisoner ; witness said to him in English, that he was the King's prisoner ; he replied in Irish, "I am not by Js," and at the same time took up his slane, in an attitude of attack on witness ; all witness's efforts to disperse the mob were ineffectual ; witness consulted with the Magistrates, and made a signal for the military to come up ; and after they came up they fired over their heads ; believes no one was wounded by the volley ; the mob then dispersed, in two bodies, in different directions ; the military was sufficiently near to kill a great many, if they chose ; witness ordered them to be pursued, and followed the large body and took many prisoners ; did not see the prisoner Mansfield do anything in particular ; he was on horseback ; identified him, and also Terence and John Ahearn ; two latter as having had slanes.
This evidence was confirmed by that of J. Kelly, Esq. and other witnesses.
A very eloquent and impressive charge was delivered by the learned Judge to the Jury; after which they retired, and shortly afterwards brought in a verdict of Guilty against Michael Lenane, John Ahearn, and Terence Ahearn, and acquitted the prisoners who had not been identified ; and also acquitted John Mansfield on the ground that he was not seen taking any part in the riot.
Court"Gentlemen, although you are mistaken, I find no fault with your verdict ; but I again impress upon your minds, that every person present was guilty of the riot and any man standing by, although he might have had his hands in his pocket, was, as an individual of that mass, in the eye of the law, equally guilty. I feel that I said more than was perhaps necessary on the case ; but I have done so for the benefit of the by-standers, and to convince the rioters that there is still a remnant of law left in this unfortunate country.
The prisoners found guilty were sentenced to solitary confinement and hard labour for six months.
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