Crime in Fermanagh.
September 22nd 1864. Impartial Reporter.
Last week we reviewed the general aspects of crime in Ireland and it afforded us pleasure that the contrast with England and Wales was so very favourable to this country. At present our objective is to take a local view of the subject.
Beginning, therefore with the number of known depredators, offender and suspected persons at large in the month of December, l863 we find 15 known thieves under the age of 16 years of age in the county and 56 above that age. The juveniles only mustered one in Arney police district; none in Derrygonnelly, two in Enniskillen, seven in Kesh and five in Lisnaskea. Of the older offenders, there were seven in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; eighteen in Enniskillen; twenty-two in Kesh; and nine in Lisnaskea. There were no receivers of stolen goods under16 years of age but above that age there were thirty-two persons in that calling—two in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; two in Enniskillen; twenty in Kesh and eight in Lisnaskea.
The county appears to be totally exempt from prostitution under 16 years of age, which is the more gratifying as elsewhere reported in the province; while above that age there appears to be 62 – two in Arney; four in Derrygonnelly; thirty-fire in Enniskillen; eight in Kesh; and thirteen Lisnaskea. There are 16 suspected persons under 16 years of age—four in Enniskillen, eleven in Kesh; and one in Lisnaskea; above that age there are eighty persons “worth watching” of whom seven are in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; thirty-four in Enniskillen; twenty-five in Kesh; and fourteen in Lisnaskea.
The daily average number of vagrants and tramps amounts to 33 under 16 years of age; Arney reporting one, Derrygonnelly none; Enniskillen four; Kesh six; Lisnaskea twenty-two. Above 16 years of age, there were eleven in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; twenty-six in Enniskillen; twelve in Kesh; twenty-eight in Lisnaskea. Of houses of receivers of stolen goods there were twenty-four – one in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; seven in Enniskillen; ten in Kesh; and six in Lisnaskea.
In the whole county there were only three public-houses the resort of thieves and prostitutes and this trio was limited to Enniskillen. Of “other suspected houses” there were two in Arney; none in Derrygonnelly; two in Enniskillen; seven in Kesh; and eleven in Lisnaskea.
The brothels and houses of ill-fame number 17 – of which none were in Arney or Derrygonnelly; eight in Enniskillen; two in Kesh; and seven in Lisnaskea.
There were four tramp lodging-houses in Arney; one in Derrygonnelly; eight in Enniskillen; nine in Kesh and eighteen in Lisnaskea. The catalogue on the whole, is not formidable.
We may now take another view of the subject as to the number of crimes committed in each police district during the year and in this respect Fermanagh is lowest in Ulster, the total known to the constabulary being 124 – of which Arney contributed fifteen; Derrygonnelly twenty-one; Enniskillen thirty-four; Kesh seventeen; and Lisnaskea thirty-seven. It is worthy of remark, in favour of the police, that the number of persons arrested corresponds exactly with the number of crimes. Among the more heinous offences may be reckoned one for manslaughter; one breaking into a shop; five cattle stealing; two sheep stealing; five arson; one each killing and maiming cattle, and sending threatening letters; three forgery, four perjury, one keeping a disorderly house and one attempting to commit suicide. The remainder indeed all the offences, are such as we may expect to the end of human society.
They have no remarkable aspects, nor is there anything to take from the fame of our county for its loyalty and peaceableness. Now, if we turn to another class of crime, in which the cases were summarily determined, the healthy condition of Fermanagh is still evident— Thus it seems that the total number proceeded against was 2,047, of which Arney district contributed 281; Derrygonnelly, 180; Enniskillen 766; Kesh, 337; Lisnaskea, 513. Of the whole number, 1420 were convicted, of whom 1,108 were fined. In the whole province there were only two persons whipped. Whipping in public is as much among the things that were as the stocks and the pillory. It was a relic of the barbarous treatment of criminals and how few of our readers remember the last of that kind of punishment in the person of Condy Mc Manus? It will be of interest to our Band of Hope friends to know that in the year under review there was not an habitual drunkard, as such, proceeded against on endightment and only 72 dealt with in the County summarily, one of that number being a female. For the detection and correction of crime in Fermanagh we have one County Inspector, five Sub-Inspectors, six head-constables two mounted and twenty-nine dismounted, six acting constables and four mounted and 130 dismounted sub-constables.