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Connaught Journal; Jan 17, 1825; Trial of Hanly Pt I

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    [continued...] THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Monday, January 17, 1825 TRIAL OF HANLY THE SOLDIER Stephen Hanly, a private of the 25th Regiment of Foot, was put
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 2007

      Galway, Monday, January 17, 1825

      Stephen Hanly, a private of the 25th Regiment of Foot, was put to the
      Bar, charged with having, on the 29th December last, rendered, at O'Brien's
      Bridge, county Clare, an unlawful oath or engagement, to one William George,
      importing to bind him to be of a certain Confederacy, to be formed to injure
      the persons of the King's subjects, and to disturb the public peace, as
      follows: "That every detachment of Soldiers that came to O'Brien's bridge,
      and also every Protestant and Orangeman, were to be put to death," - and
      with tendering an oath of like import to Wm. Burke and James Ryan.
      Mr. O'Gorman rose and said, that in this cause he was Counsel for the
      prosecution; but before he explained the circumstances of the case, he
      begged leave to congratulate the county on the highly respectable attendance
      of Magistrates whom he saw assembled to take into consideration as important
      a case as ever occurred in this or any other county. He should congratulate
      them on the presence of their present, and two of their former
      Representatives; because it would be of some consequence, whatever might be
      the fate of the man at the bar, that the county should be rescued in another
      place from any unjust imputations that might be thrown on it. Although a
      portion of the County Clare was still subject to the pains and penalties of
      the Insurrection Act, yet he would say that the people were peaceable,
      quiet, inoffensive and industrious; and he would appeal to his Lordship's
      experience, since he came to administer that Act amongst them, if there had
      been any where less violation of the law of the land. The circumstances of
      this trial were of a peculiar nature - not only on account of the character
      of the country, but on account of the introduction of the name of a high and
      respectable Dignitary of the Catholic Church, and not only on that account,
      but the character of the gallant corps in which the prisoner belonged was
      implicated; and he hoped that cosps would suffer justice to take place, and
      not give the weight of their sanction and authority to screen an offender.
      The prisoner was quartered some time in O'Brien's bridge, in the barony of
      Tulla, then under the Insurrection Act. - It was unnecessary for him (Mr.
      O'Gorman) to state that much alarm had been created throughout different
      parts of Ireland, by the absurd and wicked rumours of the ill-designing of
      one party against the other. But he hoped, notwithstanding, that the
      people's good sense, and their love for their respected and beloved
      Sovereign, would withhold them from all illegal associations. The respected
      Dignitary to whom he had alluded had been charged, and he was instructed to
      state, by the prisoner, with having been the instrument by which the
      allegiance of one of his Majesty's soldiers had been tampered with; and the
      evidence which was to be laid before the Court would prove that the prisoner
      was beyond doubt the emissary of some person or party. He (Mr. O'Gorman)
      would not say that of himself he had ventured on the atrocious line of
      conduct he had attempted to present; but it was evident there were persons
      behind the curtain working him like a puppet, for the purpose of securing
      the peasantry, and afterwards betraying them; but be thanked God that their
      good sense and loyalty had detected him, and he now stood for the offence
      before his country. The statement by Hanly was, that he had been directed by
      the Very Rev. Dean O'Shaughnessy, Roman Catholic Dean at Killaloe, while at
      confession, to go and organize the part of the country with which he was
      acquainted. It was necessary for the peace and prosperity of the country,
      that the absurd rumours relative to its state circulated in England, should
      be rebutted, and treated with the contempt they deserved. To the people with
      whom he tampered, he made use of different pass words, and they, suspecting
      that he was actuated by improper motives, went to their Parish Priest, and a
      Magistrate, to whom, on this occasion, the County of Clare was much
      indebted. his gallant friend, to whom they had gone, desired them to watch
      the prisoner, and in consequence, when they next saw him, he was called on
      to state what his objects were; he (the prisoner) answered, that he had come
      amongst them by direction of the Dean of Ennis, and had been selected by
      that Reverend Gentleman, as a fit person to enlighten them, and to prevent
      their going astray - that they were all Catholics and brethren. He was then
      pressed to say what was his business. He said, "I'll let you know what I
      mean the 1st day of the new year." This language was remarkable, when
      coupled with a circumstance to which he (Mr. O'Gorman) would very briefly
      call their attention. There was a mischievous book called "Pastorini's
      Prophecies." Mr. O'Gorman was about to state another circumstance relative
      to this book, and connected with the Right Reverend Dean O'Shaughnessy, when
      he was interrupted by Mr. Green, who objected to his mentioning any matter
      irrelevant to the prisoner. - Mr. O'Gorman said he was only about to say
      that another attempt had been made on the Dean, and that the fact had
      reference to the identify of the entire transaction; but, under direction of
      the Court, he would give up all mention of it. When the conversation which
      he described had passed between the prisoner and the prosecutors, Hanly sent
      a person named William Burke to swear the persons present - he was asked the
      nature of the oath he was about to administer; he stated that it was to cut
      off all detachments of soldiers, and to destroy all Protestants and
      Orangemen. What, it might be asked, was his object in making this statement?
      It was - "spargere voce in vulgum ambiguss." After the explanation of the
      oath, Hanly took off his coat, and said he did not like the colour of it;
      they replied he was an impostor - "if you think so (said he) put me in the
      fire and burn me." These were the facts of the case, and for his alleged
      crime, the prisoner stands for justice at that tribunal. Let the result of
      this day's investigations be what it may, it will have this good effect - it
      will demonstrate to the people, that it is their interest to stand by and
      support the magistrates - it is to the magistrate that they should look for
      protection could not be more properly attended than in the instance of this
      William George sworn and examined by Mr. O'Gorman - Lives at O'Brien's
      bridge; recollects the 19th of last December; knows the prisoner, who was
      then at O'Brien's bridge, on a pass; prisoner had been previously quartered
      there, and was married in the neighbourhood; saw Hanly and James Ryan come
      out of Mat. Moloney's house that morning; witness asked Ryan, would he come
      home, as he (witness) wanted to go to Birdhill! "Immediately" said Ryan - "I
      want to pay George Ryan some change I drank there the night before;" Ryan
      also desired witness to go before him, as he wanted to get rid of Hanly, who
      was constantly following him; witness then crossed the bridge, and called ??
      at George Ryan's house; James Ryan came in soon after, and said that Hanly
      was still following him, and they had better go up stairs; before they had
      finished their porter, Hanly came in with Mr. Henry O'Brien, and asked James
      Ryan once or twice to treat him; this Ryan refused, and he said he did not
      like the conversation he had had with him the night before; Hanly thus
      called for more spirits himself; the waiter came up, and ascertaining it was
      Hanly who called for it, refused to give it; Hanly then desired James Ryan
      to call for the spirits, and that he would pay for it; accordingly the
      spirits came up, and before it was drunk, Jas. Ryan went down stairs and
      remained so long below that witness went down after him; witness wanted not
      to return, but James Ryan desired him to go up and drink a glass of the
      spirits, when they would be off; Hanly was in the room when they returned;
      Henry OBrien was with Hanly while they were down stairs; witness and Ryan
      then left the house an crossed the bridge; witness saw Hanly afterwards that
      day; they went into a house to take some spirits, and before the second
      glass was drunk, Hanly came in; James Ryan asked Hanly, what brought him
      there again; to which prisoner replied, "You are going much astray;" when
      James Ryan said, Hanly should not remain in his company, and pushed him out
      of the shop; Hanly returned a second time into the shop, when Ryan told the
      woman of the house not to let him into their company again; in consequence
      of some conversation which the witness had with his Parish Priest and Major
      Bouchier, he saw Hanly again that night in George Ryan's house, at the
      County of Clare side; Hanly and others were seated at a fire in the kitchen;
      soon after they came in, Hanly told them they were all going astray in that
      neighbourhood; witness asked him, "How so?" when Hanly replied, that a few
      days before Christmas, he had gone to confession to Dean O'Shaughnessy, and
      that as the Dean took him to be a proper person, and a good Catholic, he had
      sent him down to where he had got married to enlighten the people; Hanly
      repeated that they were all going astray, when witness said, that he (Hanly)
      had a good author, he was welcome to them and asked had he any more to tell
      them? Hanly answered, that he and his comrades would be soon with them, and
      let them know a great deal more; witness said it be as well to let them know
      it then, if he had any information for them; witness asked him, was there
      any occasion for a book? he said "yes;" a book was then sent for, and
      brought in; witness said, before they were bound on oath, it would be as
      well to let them know to what they were to be sworn; he replied "It was to
      kill all detachments, Protestants and Orangemen; as Hanly had the book at
      this time in his hand, and was about giving it to witness, when Mat. Molony,
      one of them in the room, snatched the book, threw it into the fire and
      burned it; Hanly, after this, took off his coat, and said "Boys, take and
      burn me in that grate, if you think I am deceiving you;" he stood on the
      hearth, and pointing to one side with one foot, said," Here is a
      Protestant;" and then to the other, " Here is an Orangeman, and here I am, a
      Catholic, between them, and unless you assist me, what can I do?" After
      throwing off his coat, he said, he hated the colour of it; Hanly was
      apprehended next day; witness was with a magistrate between the time he saw
      the prisoner in the morning, and when he met him at night at George Ryan's
      house; and was also at the Parish Priest's.
      Cross-examined by Mr. Green - Met Hanly the first time about eight
      o'clock that morning who told him nothing about his intentions then; is
      intimate with James Ryan who taught school in O'Brien's bridge; heard from
      Ryan that he and Hanly had a dispatch the night before, when Ryan was
      endeavouring to keep him away from him; it was William Bourke who went out
      for the hour, and not heard from Hanly before he sent for the book the
      nature of the oath he was to take; drank two glasses of spirits and a pint
      of porter that day; would have taken the oath had he not been prevented by
      Molony; never took an oath before; James Ryan lived at Bird-hill but lately
      taught school at O'Brien's bridge; witness desired the book to be brought in
      by Hanly's direction; told Hanly they should assist him as he had a good
      author; this was when the book was in his hand; it was at the Country of
      Clare side of the bridge they met with Hanly; witness sent William Bourke
      for Hanly, and desired him to bring him wherever he found him; witness met
      William Bourke in the street after coming from the Magistrate; told Major
      Bouchier (the Magistrate) all that had happened between him and Hanly; it
      was Hanly who was to swear witness, not the witness Hanly; Hanly had not the
      appearance of being drunk; saw him drink only one glass of spirits in the
      morning; when Bourke went for Hanly, witness went for a few more to bear him
      company; suspected Hanly was on some bad design and went to the Magistrate
      who desired him to get the information possible out of him; witness saw
      never tried for stealing ammunition, was tried at Clonmel for
      horse-stealing, and acquitted; was some time in prison, he believes about
      four months; never had a dispute with Hanly, never did he ever tell any one
      that Hanly was an officious rascal; was not present when Hanly knocked a man
      down at the fair of Guig; was never before any Magistrate in Limerick, nor
      was he ever charged with being a Whiteboy.
      In answer to questions from the Court. - Is not certain whether Hanly
      drank a glass of spirits the night at George Ryan's; did not see him drink
      it; James Ryan knew that witness had gone to the Magistrate, and his
      business with him; made an information in writing before the Magistrate;
      Hanly asked if there were a book in the room, and then desired witness to
      send for one; witness desired Bill Bourke to go for it; Hanly at this time
      had every appearance of sobriety; does not think James Ryan was in the room
      when the oath was tendered; Ryan was a little hearty, and was making a great
      noise; they, therefore, turned him out frequently, and he constantly
      In answer to different Magistrates - Thinks it was after Hanly tendered
      the oath that he took off his coat; William Bourke put the book into Hanly's
      hand; the book was not opened, nor does witness know its ?; it was shut and
      was not tied up like a swearing book; never saw Hanly trip a man while he
      was quartered at O'Brien's bridge; it was in consequence of what occurred
      before Major Bouchier that sent Bourke to Hanly.

      [to be continued...]

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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