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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

The Times, London


Source: Turtle Bunbury

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 Mullins

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 recognize him.

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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