1847. Drunken Coastguards


1847. Drunken Coastguards

To Sir James Dombrain, Inspector General Coastguard. Custom House, Dublin. 8th.July 1847.

From HM Steamer 'Mymidon' Killybegs.

Sir, I am directed by Col. H.D. Jones, Chairman of the Board of Works to complain to you of the conduct of the crew of the boat stationed at the entrance of Broadhaven Bay which had been kindly lent to Col. Jones by the officer Mr. Lindsay for the purpose of proceeding to Belmullet on the public service. On leaving Belmullet at about 10 1/2 oc in the evening two of the crew appeared to have drunken too freely one so much as to have acted in a manner calculated to effect the safety of those in the boat by getting up and moving about although the sail was set and it was blowing fresh in squalls. On being remonstrated with he was extremely insolent not only to those in the boat including Col. Jones but to the Coastguard Officer in charge whose efforts to control the crew were wholly ineffectual; - Col. Jones considers it to be his duty to bring this occurrence before you, as had the services of that crew been required further it was quite manifest that they could not have acquitted themselves either to the credit or satisfaction of the authorities.

I am Sir, your obedient servant. D.Hornsby. Sec

To Inspector General Coastguard, Dublin. 27th.July 1847

Sir, I am instructed by Col. Jones to acknowledge the text ? of your letter of the 23rd.inst. and its enclosures concerning the complaint preferred by him against the crew of the Coastguard boat at Belmullet. I am to request you will have the goodness to acquaint Col. Jones with the course you may think proper to pursue to ascertain the correctness of the charges preferred and also to mention that besides Col. Jones there were in the boat on the occasion alluded to Barry D. Gibbons Esq. C.E., William Fennell, Inspector of Fisheries and your obedient servant D. Hornsby.

To Inspector General Coastguard, Dublin 28th.September 1847.

Sir, Referring to your letter of the 22nd. and respecting the charges preferred by Col. Jones in common with three other gentlemen belonging to their departments against the crew of the Ballyglass boat - if it is intended that the presence of Col. Jones and the other Gentlemen shall be required at Belmullet to attend the Court of Enquiry, it will be attended with the greatest inconvenience to the public business. I am therefore to suggest for the consideration of the Comptroller General whether our depositions could not be recorded in Dublin by an officer appointed. As the depositions of the boat crew have been taken and he might then be enabled to form an opinion upon the correctness of Col. Jones report or if this could not be permitted it is proposed that the men should be sent around to Dublin or Belfast in one of the Coastguard Cruizers and the enquiry there to take place.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant. D.Hornsby. Ass. Sec.<

To Capt. H.Smith. Coastguard Officer, London. 24th.December 1847.

Sir, With reference to your letter of the 16th. November stating that a Court of Inquiry would be ordered on the crew of the Coastguard boat at Belmullet on my mentioning the most convenient time. I have the honor to state that it would not be possible for either myself or the other Gentlemen to attend at Belmullet before the closure of the year. They as well as I have been invalids and to travel upon an out-side car, the only mode of conveyance from Ballina to Belmullet would be attended with great risk to their health independent of the great inconvenience which will result from the absence of any one of us from our public duties at this particular period. By a letter received this day from Belmullet I understand that two of the crew complained against drowned a few days ago, by the upsetting of the boat in which they were returning to their Station it may therefore probably be considered unnecessary to hold an enquiry for the purpose of punishing the surviving individual.

I am Sir, your obedient servant. H.D.Jones.<

Reference: Board of Works Papers . National; Archives. Bishop Street, Dublin 8.

Custom House Dublin 18th.October 1821.

Sir, I am directed by the Commissioner of His Majesty's Customs to acquaint you that they have received information from Mr. Chesney at Kilkeel that a small schooner is now at sea with a cargo of contraband goods destined for any part of the coast she can make out, that there are people on the lookout for her at Kilkeel, Ballyhalbert and elsewhere. That she is described as a small schooner with a round stern, rigged with a square top-sail and top gallant sail on the foremast with a small square Topsail, also a gaff Topsail on the main. The latter being higher than the square Topsail - and further that the Master of a coasting vessel states that he saw here at daylight on the 13th.inst. off the Copeland Light, a laye lugger discharging into 3 smacks and one wherry, that he was so close as to see a great many men on the deck of the lugger and some guns run out, apparently quakers.

This information has been communicated to the CYMS Wickham and Griper.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant C.J.Allen Maclean.

To. Rear Admiral Sir J.Rowley Bart.

Reference: Custom and Excise Admin.Letters National Archives, Bishop St. Dublin 8.

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