This article traces the development of the term 'outrages', which by the nineteenth century was used in an almost exclusively Irish context. It argues that British and Irish politicians used the term to communicate the collective insecurity they felt particular forms of Irish violence exposed, especially concerning the stability of the Act of Union. 'Outrages' was deployed rhetorically to brand Irish violence as politically subversive. Simultaneously, its meaning was systematized by the newly reformed Irish constabulary who surveilled particular forms of Irish violence and quantified its existence. Politicians used these statistics as one vital measure of British progress in Ireland.