Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, June 5, 1850
BELLMULLET PETTY SESSIONS
The Rev. M. Conway v. Messrs. John James and John MacAndrew, and Mr. Robert
Savage, for wilful and malicious trespass.
Mr. Conway attempted several times to address the Bench, but in each
instance was interrupted by Mr. Savage, who insisted that he (Mr. Conway)
should be sworn. This he refused, and called John Gallagher, who was sworn.
Did you see the defendants' cattle on the lands of Glenturk mannion?
Mr. Savage- Can you swear it? Witness-The herd can swear it.
By Mr. Conway (through the Court)- Didn't you know some of the cattle?
Witness- I could not swear to the cattle.
Mr. Conway (through the Court)- Have you been intimidated from giving
evidence since last court day? Witness - Oh, no, sir.
Mr. Conway - Ask him was he intimidated.
Witness- No, only Mrs. MacAndrew's son said that I carped it greatly to
prove such a thing for the Priest.
Mr. Conway - Did he offer to strike you? Witness-No.
Mr. Conway - Were the cattle driven to the mearing on purpose to
trespass? Witness- Faith I can't tell.
Mr. Savage (to the Bench)- He wants to prove the cattle's intentions.
Laurence Ruddy, examined- To whom did the cattle belong? Witness - I
Mr. Savage - Were the cattle in it at all? Witness- I cannot prove to
Mr. Savage (to the Bench) - Gentlemen, I am willing to admit what in
the end will be agreed to, that our cattle had the intention to trespass,
and Mr. Conway knows the meaning of that word in all its bearings.
Mr. Conway - Were you employed as caretaker at Glenturk? Witness- yes.
Mr. Conway- Who employed you? Witness - Mr. Fergus.
Mr. Conway- Now on your oath who does the cattle belong to?
[The Bench refused to allow this question to be answered.]
Mr. Conway- Did you see any of the cattle trespass on Glenturk's
mannion? Witness- I did not.
[The poor witness here left the court, muttering, "Sure I could not
swear in the wrong."]
Bridget Shevelan was the next witness put on the table, and on the oath
being administered to her, she was observed by the Bench and several persons
in the court to have kissed her thumb instead of the book. She was then
obliged to kiss the book.
Mr. Conway - Were you caretaker on Glenturk? Witness - Thay sure..
Mr. Conway - Did Mr. MacAndrew's cattle or Mr. Savage's cattle trespass
on my land? Witness - I don't know.
Mr. Conway- Come now, I ask you again? Witness (casting a look of mercy
at Mr. Conway)- Well, sure I heard it.
Mr. Conway - Why did you give up possession? Witness- It was not worth
my while to herd.
Mr. Conway- Was there not a mearing? Witness- No, sir.
Mr. Conway (to the Bench)- Yes there is a mearing and fence.
Mr. MacAndrew- No there is not.
Several Voices- No there is not.
Mr. Savage (to the Bench)- Gentlemen, swear Mr. Conway, for I solemnly
assert that for a ???? there is not any appearance of fence, or mark, or
mearing, but a stream in one part which is dry in summer.
The Bench, to Mr. Conway- Have you any more evidence? Mr. Conway- No,
Bench - Then why bring those parties here? You have neither proved
common or malicious trespass. We must dismiss this case with full costs.
Mr. Conway - I hope you will direct the defendants to pay one half the
expenses of this proceeding.
Bench- Indeed we will not. You must pay all.
[Here an altercation arose between Mr. Conway, the clerk of petty
sessions, and the poor summons server, relative to their fees.]
Mr. Savage (to the Bench)- Gentlemen, this is an extreme hard case; but
we will ask the Assistant Barrister, at the Belmullet Sessions, for a full
remonstration for this vexation and false charge. We shall process.
At the close, and on the thronged court bearing the decision of the
Magistrates, there was a loud burst of applause.
I feel it due to remark that while in Belmullet I saw one venerable
looking clergyman who seemed to feel much at this trial. I afterward
inquired his name, and was told the Rev. Mr. Kelly; my informant adding,
"Arrah, sir. It's a long day till he would be in the court makin' the like
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News