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Public Record Office of N. Ireland

Although a Constable is always to act with firmness, he is never to interfere needlessly.

If a person appear obviously drunk, the constable is to speak mildly, and persuade him to accompany him to the Police Office - if he need assistance, he is to help and protect him.

If, however , he be riotous, and will not accompany him quietly, the constable is to call for sufficient assistance, and convey him as carefully and quietly as possible to the Police Office.

He is not to be struck or ill-treated, and no abusive language is to used to him under any circumstances.


The least deviation from the orders will be visited with the most severe displeasure of the Board.

    By order of the
                    COMMISSIONERS OF POLICE
                                    JOHN GILMER, Clerk
3rd November, 1841

Huguenot church link to past in Catholic Ireland

Winnipeg Free Press, Saturday 20 June 1981 (N.Y. Times News Service)

PORTARLINGTON, Ireland --- This farming town 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Dublin is familiar to most Irishmen as the site of the first turf burning power station in Ireland, erected in 1950.

The sandy cone of the cooling tower dominates the main street, but in its shadow stands a more unusual structure known locally as the French church. This is the old Huguenot parish of Saint Paul's, believed to be one of the few churches still in use in Ireland in which the Huguenots worship.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, an estimated 600,000 Huguenot Protestants fled religious persecution in France and settled elsewhere in Europe. About 10,000 of them came to Ireland, considered a favorable location ruled, as it was then, by a Protestant Ascendancy wishing to secure its position in the country.

The refugees helped build the linen industry in Belfast, silk weaving in Dublin and woollen manufacturing in other parts of the country. Although their houses in Dublin, the site of the largest settlement, have been razed, Weavers Square still exists and nearby is a long building, now run by Carmelite nuns as a shelter for homeless women and children, where the Huguenots once dried and stretched their material.

The Huguenot settlement at Portarlington was different from others in that it consisted of retired army people who had successfully fought on the side of the Calvinist William of Orange against the Catholic King James in the Battle of Boyne in 1690. The victory helped to ensure Protestant domination in Ireland for 200 years and in 1692 the Irish Parliament passed a law granting freedom of worship to the Huguenots and other "Protestant strangers".

A few of the Huguenot houses designed by imported French carpenters are still occupied in Portarlington. They differ from the Irish turf cottages and later Georgian houses in their high pitched roofs and windowless street facades. The Huguenots preferred to have windows only on the side of the house facing their gardens, which they cultivated with imported oranges, lemons, black walnuts and jargonelle pears.

Until the early 1800s, the community at Portarlington adhered to an older form of French spoken during the reign of Louis XIV and became famous as a center for learning the language. At one time, there were as many as 16 French schools in Portarlington, where upper-class families sent their children and where it is said the Duke of Wellington studied for a time.

Saint Paul's is now part of the Anglican Community of the Church of Ireland and its 300 members in a minority in a town with a population of 3,000. The republic is predominantly Roman Catholic with Protestants comprising 3.5 per cent of the population.

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