THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
Galway, Monday, January 31, 1825
ENNISKILLEN QUARTER SESSIONS
The King, at the prosecution of the Rev. James Kelly, against William
Reynolds and William Moffit.
The Rev. James Kelly examined by Mr. Kernan
Witness said he was a Catholic Clergyman; he recollected the night of
the 20th November last; he then resided as a lodger in the house of Mr. J.
Gibbon, of Tempo; witness paid a visit to the Dispensary of that town, on
that night, upon his going in, the met the Surgeon, Dr. Breadon, and Mr.
John Gibson, and a young boy of the name of Owens; these were the only
persons then in the Dispensary; in a few minutes afterwards, William
Reynolds, the traverser, came in, and got some bottles of medicine for his
master, and went away. [Here prosecutor identified the prisoner.] Witness
soon after left the Dispensary; on his going out Mr. Gibson took the candle,
and showed him out of the door; when he was proceeding on his way home,
within three or four steps of the Dispensary, he heard the noise of persons
running towards him down the street; among the party he, on looking round,
perceived the two traversers, Reynolds and Moffit; they were armed with
stones, and without any notice of their intention, commenced their attack,
and struck him as fast as they could; there were three other persons of this
party, whom witness did not know; the traverser, Reynolds, whom he had met a
few minutes before in the Dispensary, was the first person who struck him;
they made use of no expressions or observations before they struck him; his
arms have been blackened by the blows he received on them; witness happened
to have had a small stick in his hand, with which he decided to defend
himself; produced the stick; his hat was knocked off; they then hit him on
the head; he then said, you have cut my head; then called on the Protestant
and Catholic inhabitants to come to his assistance; that the Priest was
abeating; the party then retreated to the house of one Busby; about this
time one of the Police Constables came up to witness; he told him how he had
been treated, and requested him to accompany him in the pursuit of them;-
this was immediately after the attack, and during the time the party were
retreating; he had known the two traversers perfectly well before that
evening, and swears positively he did not give them any, the slightest
provocation for the attack they made on him.
Cross-examined by Mr. Aughenleck
The first part of the cross-examination was so irrelevant to the
Traverser's defence, that Mr. Kernan several times objected to it.
The Assistant Barrister told the Gentlemen cross-examining the
prosecutor, that it was great waste of time, and unless he could show some
act of violence, used by the prosecutor, to warrant the outrage, it was
quite irrelevant to the issue. - The fact where the Reverend Gentleman dined
on Shrove Tuesday, 1823, or what ladies drank tea with him on that evening,
had no application to this trial.
Mr. Aughenleck then proceeded. - The prosecutor said, he was quite
certain that he had seen Reynolds in the Dispensary, and shortly after in
the street, and equally certain as to Moffit; he never had a dispute with
either Moffit or Reynolds; they both struck him and he believed that J.
Wherry had also struck him; but could not swear positively to him; he never
said after he was assaulted that he did not know the person that struck him;
he thought it was very extraordinary that Reynolds beat him; could not
account for his motive as he was always very kind to him; when beating, he
called upon the Protestant and Catholic inhabitants of Tempo to come to his
assistance; he never said he was glad to buy off the Rev. H. Land's man
(Reynolds); on the contrary, the Rev. H. Land and prosecutor were at all
times on good terms; by virtue of his oath, he never made use of the
expression, "that ten Protestant rascals would not be able to knock him
down;" his hat was knocked off, and he saved his head with the stick in his
hand; he considered an oath a most solemn obligation. - Q. Did you ever make
use of the expression, "that an oath was a mere matter of form?" - [At this
question, the prosecutor smiled, and seemed to feel very indignant.]- A. By
virtue of my oath, Mr. Aughenleck, I never did; he had too often explained
the sanctity of an oath to be guilty of such an expression.
John Gibson examined by Mr. Kernan - Witness said, he knew, the Rev.
James Kelly; he was a lodger in witness' house; witness is a Protestant;
knew the traversers; identified them; he recollected the night of the 20th
November last; he was in the Dispensary of Tempo on that night; he got some
bottles of medicine for his master there; Reynolds left the Dispensary a
short time before Mr. Kelly; at the time Mr. Kelly was going out of the
door, the night appeared very dark, and witness showed him with a candle the
way out, as there was a step down from the door; about ten minutes after
Kelly left the Dispensary, witness went to the House of one Busby; he saw
Mr. Kelly there and also the traverser, William Moffit.
[This witness did not state what occurred there, as John Wharry, Edward
Wharry and Alexander Wharry, were indicted for the riot which took place
Cross-examined - Witness said, there was great throng then at Busby's
house; he did not then hear any charge made against William Moffit; he
thinks Mr. Kelly's object in going to Busby's was to find out the persons
that beat him; he did not hear Mr. Kelly mention the name of Reynolds or
Moffit; he thinks he charged John Wharry at that time as being one of the
persons that assaulted him; is so far certain that when Mr. Kelly first saw
John Wharry, Mr. Kelly asked him, where was the rest of his (W.'s) party;
two of the Wharrys were sent in custody of the Police Constable to the
barracks; witness held the candle outside of the upper leaf of the door; he
heard the noise of the beating and had no doubt that the Priest was
assaulted; the place where the attack was made on the Priest might be about
three or four yards from the Dispensary door; Mr. Kelly told witness the
traversers were the persons that struck him on his going that night to his
own house; he had always seen Mr. Kelly conduct himself in a peaceable
Witness examined by Mr. Kernan. - Saw William Moffit, the traverser, on
that night, in Busby's; the traversers might have been there without the
Priest seeing them; when Mr. Kelly was beating, he heard him cry out for
Protestants and Catholics to come to his assistance; the two Wharrys, Edward
and Alexander, were taken into custody, by the Police, for what happened at
Busby's; witness accompanied the prosecutor from Busby's to his own house,
and when they got home, Mr. Kelly told him that he was beaten by Reynolds,
Moffit and John Wharry; when witness went into Busby's, John Wharry was
sitting at the fire, and William Moffit was standing back at a window; Mr.
Kelly then charged John Wharry, as being one of the party that beat him, and
a conflict ensued.
Witnesses examined on the part of the traversers -
James Wiley, examined - Witness recollected the night the Priest was
beaten; witness had been some time before in the house of one Frazer; he
heard the noise, and went out and stood at the door; he saw the persons
beating the Priest, and there were only two persons that attacked him;
witness knows the traversers, Reynolds and Moffit; knows his sight, he can't
say who the persons were that beat the Priest; if he had known the persons
who beat the Priest, he would, from where he was standing, know them; he was
positively certain there were only two persons at the beating.
Cross-examined by Mr. Kernan - Witness had no doubt that the prosecutor
had a better opportunity of identifying the persons that beat him that he
(witness) had; he did not live in Tempo; he lives in Selen-Mue; his business
that night in Tempo was to get flax huckled; he belonged to the Orange
Lodge, No. 320; the traversers were members of the same Lodge; he had some
conversation with the traversers on this business before the trial.
John Frazer, examined - Witness recollected the night of the assault on
the Priest; the last witness, Wiley, was in his house on that night; he saw
the Priest on that night, with his head bare; witness heard some person ask
the Priest, who struck him; the Priest said "he did not know them at all;",
the Priest then ordered more of the blackguards to come out, for ten of them
were not fit to knock him down.
Case closed on both sides.
The Jury retired to consider their verdict on Monday evening and were
discharged on Wednesday night, without finding a verdict; the parties
agreeing, on each side, to withdraw a Juror.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News