1804 The Byrne Brothers
The two BYRNES, who belonged to Irish rebel CORCORAN'S gang, have been
apprehended and lodged in Kilkenny gaol. One of them is severely
wounded, having his leg broke and a ball lodged in his hip. While one
of the Byrnes lay a prisoner in the guard-house at Borris, information
was received there that the other was seen lying in a knot of furze in
the Barony of St. Mullins, county of Carlow; a parry instantly went in
pursuit of him, and on their approaching the place of his concealment,
he fired at and wounded one of the yeomen. Several shots were then
interchanged, until his ammunition was expended, and he lay incapable
of further resistance, from the dreadful effects of his wounds.
(The Times, February 25, 1804, p. 3).
1836 Reports of The Irish Poor Law
Commissioners (1836) -
Parish of St Mullins - Barony of St
Persons who attended the Examination -
James Byrne, farmer; Mr. Patrick Byrne, farmer; Robert Doyne, esq.
J.P.; Mr John Finn, farmer; Mr Galavin, farmer; Captain Hugh Hawkshaw,
constable of police; Rev. Mr. Kavenagh, parish priest of St Mullins;
Mr. Thomas Murphy, farmer; Rev. James Saunders, vicar of Clenagoose;
Rev. Mr. Walsh, parish priest of Borris; Mr. George Whitney, brewer
and farmer; John Wilcocks, esq. surgeon.
There are two periods of the year at
which the great body of the labourers of the parish are nearly
altogether thrown out of employment- viz., from the 1st of December
until the 20th of February; and in summer from the 1st of July till
the 11th of August. ‘At these times,’ says Mr. Galavin, ‘were it not
for the assistance of their friends and neighbours, they would often
be reduced to one meal a day; even this degree of want is endured by
some;’ and Dr. Wilcocks has known three or four instances of it. There
exists no fund to which they can appeal for assistance; and the
consequence is that in many instances their wives and children have
recourse to begging in order to find subsistence. They never beg in
their own neighbourhood, but always at a distance; whilst people in
similar circumstances resort to St. Mullins from other places.
Prostitution, however, has not at any time been observed as a result
of a state of destitution; nor have men been known to desert their
families, though suffering under the most extreme want.
“A man”, observes Dr. Wilcocks, ‘who left
his wife and four children in the adjoining barony of Borris, and who
was thought to have absconded altogether, returned lately, after an
absence of two months, during which, it appears, he had been
successful in finding employment elsewhere.’
No one has ever been known to have
committed a crime for the mere purpose of being sent to gaol for
subsistence; but instances are not wanting where great distress has
driven poor people to steal potatoes and other provisions. Dr.
Wilcocks is induced, from what he has heard, to think the practice
very frequent; and the Rev. Mr. Saunders states, ‘I have at the
present moment a man in my employment who robbed me of potatoes, four
or five years ago, when labouring under sheer privation, for which
reason I did not prosecute him.’ Outrages on the person, however, have
never been traced to necessity.
When labourers are out of employment,
they very frequently supply their immediate wants by getting
provisions on credit, which they obtain by binding themselves to pay
more for them than the market price at the time of the transaction.
The usual difference is ?d. in the stone of potatoes, and about 2s.
6d. in the cwt. of meal. In the country the lenders of potatoes are
generally the masters of the labourer; but meal it is customary to
procure from the hucksters on the security of their employers. The
debt in which the working man must necessarily involve himself under
these circumstances is not so ruinous as might be supposed, as he has
in most instances a pig, which enables him to discharge it; but he
never could do so out of his wages.
Mr. Kavanagh is the only gentleman who
employs more men than he requires, through a desire of relieving
distress; this he does to the extent of nearly 20 workmen. A labour-
rate has never been in operation. The ordinary rate of wages in the
parish is l0d. a day without diet, or 6d. a day with two meals of
potatoes; in harvest time, and when potatoes are being dug, 8d., also
with diet. The average number of days, according to Mr. Whitney, that
a man is employed during the week, does not exceed four, It is
unnecessary to add, that from these moderate earnings no man who has a
family can lay by anything.
(The Times, October 15th, 1836, p. 7)
1836 Murder Of Catherine Byrne
‘On Monday last two men, named John and
Michael Cullen, inhumanly beat and kicked a woman named Catherine
Byrne, who was in an advanced state of pregnancy, in such a manner as
to cause her death. The parties lived at Bahana, in the barony of St.
Mullins, and were neighbours. On Tuesday last the coroner held an
inquest on the body, when a verdict was returned that deceased came by
her death in consequence of the treatment she received from the
Cullens. The coroner issued a warrant for their apprehension; but it
is supposed they have absconded.-
Carlow Sentinel. (Quoted in The
Times, October 27, 1836, p. 4).
1838 Murder Of A Policeman
County Of Carlow.-Attack On A Police
Party. Inhuman Murder Of A Policeman.
A most inhuman murder was committed on
Thursday night last at a place called Skaugh, in the barony of St.
Mullins, county of Carlow, and attended with, circumstances of such
peculiar atrocity as to lead us to hope that the villains who
perpetrated the deed will speedily meet their reward. It appears that
on the evening of the 25th instant Sergeant Little and two policemen,
named Walsh and Galvin, were proceeding towards their station at
Glynn, after attending the petty sessions at Borris.
The night being wet and stormy, they
stopped at a public-house near Clasganny to take some refreshment.
They made not more than a few minutes delay, when they again resumed
their route, although the storm continued with unabated vigour.
They had not proceeded far, when they
were overtaken by several men, some of whom had been in the
public-house, and who commenced an indiscriminate attack on the party.
The policemen having nothing but their side-arms, were unable to
defend themselves with success, and in a short time two of the party
were overpowered. Galvin, after being left for dead, was thrown over a
precipice into a wood, while his comrade, Walsh, was mangled in a most
shocking manner. His skull was fractured in several places, and his
body was otherwise so savagely mutilated as to render it difficult to
This unfortunate man lived until the
evening following, when death put a period to his sufferings. Galvin
is in such a state as to render ultimate recovery hopeless. The escape
of the constable was almost miraculous; but, favoured by the darkness
of the night, and while the villains were engaged in mangling the
bodies of his comrades, he ran to a public-house on the road-side,
where he obtained protection.
The spot was admirably adapted for the
perpetration of a murder. It was about half way on a road that runs
through Claganny Wood, which hangs over the Barrow; and as there are
no houses but at both extremities of the wood, the murderers selected
this spot as one the most likely to favour their designs during
the storm. It is much to be regretted, first, that the party had
entered a public-house at all, and secondly, deeply to be deplored
that they acted so incautiously as to travel without their carbines.
An inquest was held on Friday on the body of Walsh, when a verdict of
‘wilful murder’ was found by the jury against several persons, whose
names it is at present unnecessary to mention.
Two men named Kavanagh were apprehended
shortly after the committal of the deed, fully identified by Constable
Little as the principals, and they were committed to the county gaol
by Mr. Charles H. Tuckey, resident magistrate.-
Kilkenny Moderator. (Quoted in The Times,
November 3, 1838, p. 3).
Source: Turtle Bunbury Dec 2012
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