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!! Ballina Chronicle; Oct 10, 1849 "Murder in Queen's Co."

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Mayo, Ireland Wednesday, Oct 10, 1849 AWFUL MURDER IN THE QUEEN S COUNTY TOLERTON, SUNDAY EVENING- I have just attended an inquest
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2003
      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, Oct 10, 1849

      TOLERTON, SUNDAY EVENING- I have just attended an inquest in a case of
      murder, compared to which in atrocity that of the Mannings sink into the shade.
      The murdered in the present instance was husband, the murderess, wife. She has
      not only been presumed guilty by a coroner's jury, but has fully confessed to
      her participation in the terrible tragedy. In order to give the foul transaction
      in the smallest space, I condense the evidence.
      Catherine Thompson, an interesting peasant girl was wedded sometime ago to
      a person in her own class of life, named Patrick Moore. The marriage was not a
      happy one; the wife's prettiness had won her many admirers; and the result was,
      that a casual separation took place; the husband went to live with a relative of
      his, named Brennan, while the wife remained with her mother, at Tulla, in the
      Ballickmoyler district. Moore left for America, but on reaching Liverpool, he
      could not divest himself sufficiently of his feelings for home to prosecute his
      voyage; so he returned. On Sunday, the 2d of September, Catherine Moore sent out
      a young woman named Julia King over to Brennan's to her husband with a message,
      the substance of which was that she wished to see him on that evening. He came
      punctual to the assignation. Between ten and eleven o'clock on that night he was
      seen by two men leaning against a ditch, at the back of his mother-in-law's
      house in company with his wife. After this night he was not seen or heard of in
      the neighborhood; he did not return to Brennan's; but a rumour was set afloat
      that he had left for America; and the following Sunday Mrs. Moore left Tulla for
      the ostensible purpose of joining him in Liverpool, in order that they might
      proceed together to New York. After she left, vague reports were circulated
      through the village, the people surmised strange things, and asked why the wife
      did not accompany her husband. These indications of the feelings of the
      neighborhood having reached H.B. Warburton, Esq., the Sub-Inspector, at
      Ballickmoyler, that gentleman immediately made particular inquiry into the
      matter and had the several coal pits in the district dragged but without any
      successful result.- While he was thus engaged a letter reached from a brother of
      Mrs. Moore, who resides at Dundalk. It purported that the writer had seen his
      sister and her husband off from Dublin on their way to America; that they were
      in good health and seemed perfectly reconciled to each other. This removed any
      lingering suspicion which remained on the mind of the intelligent sub-inspector.
      Thus matters remained until word was brought him, on Wednesday evening, that the
      body of a man, or something like it, was seen in a hole in the centre of the
      lonely bog of Rossmore, and the dogs had been devouring portions of it. He
      forthwith proceeded to the place pointed out, on Wednesday night; and in the
      middle of the lonely and wild bog of Rossmore, he perceived, by the glimpse of
      the moon, a mangled arm protruding from the depths of the bog-side. A stick was
      procured, the body was stirred, when a most revolting spectacle presented
      itself. A human head started out of the water; the nose and one of the cheeks
      had been cut off, the eyes were gone, and the face was otherwise fearfully
      mutilated. On examination the limbs were found to be very much mangled, and the
      body in a state of putrescence and decomposition.
      To remove these hedious remains of mortality was a matter impracticable at
      that hour of the night with the assistance Mr. Warburton had; so he left his
      companion to keep watch while he drove off to Tulla, which was seven miles
      distant, it having struck him that the mutilated body in the bog must have been
      that of the missing Patrick Moore. When he reached Moore's mother-in-law's
      house, he made fresh inquiry as to where Mrs. Moore and her husband were; the
      confusion and prevarication that ensued confirmed him in his idea of there
      being foul play. He then secured the attendance of a person who knew Patk.
      Moore, and could identify the body, if it was his. On returning to Rossmore bog
      with this man and a reinforcement of police, they raised the body out of the
      hole; while doing so, it fell into piece meal, and the loathsome members had to
      be placed in bags. The remains were immediately identified. On being removed
      towards Tulla, it was met by a procession of colliers, who placed the fragments
      of the body in a coffin, and bore it onward with marks of deep sorrow for their
      murdered comrade.
      I omitted to mention that in the morning, a sub-inspector had placed the
      mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the deceased man under
      arrest. A jury having been collected, the body was viewed by them, and after a
      minute examination by Dr Samuel Edge, it was consigned to mother earth.
      The assistance of the coroner, Thomas Budds, Esq., could not be procured
      until to-day (Saturday) his duties in Mountmellick and elsewhere having
      precluded his attendance at Tolerton sooner. The jury having been sworn, held
      the inquest at Grave's public-house. Several witnesses were examined, and from
      them were elicited the facts just stated. The most remarkable part of this dark
      tragedy remains to be told. Never was the mysterious ways of Providence made
      more manifest in bring retribution home to the heartless murderer in this case.
      On the morning of the inquest who should return from Liverpool than Catherine
      Moore; she had come home with a pitiful tale of how her unnatural and brutal
      husband had deserted her on the quay of Liverpool, leaving her a lonely and
      unfortunate woman to beg her way home. Her astonishment-her horror, on hearing
      of the discovery of the mutilated remains of her husband, operated so strongly
      on her feelings, that she confessed her guilt, and all the appalling
      circumstances connected with it. It seems Moore's brains were beaten out on the
      night he was last seen with his wife; and that on the next day this wretched
      woman and her mother dislocated the limbs, so as that they may be fitted on an
      ass's car-being concealed by straw, they then proceeded to Rossmore bog, which
      was seven miles distant, and in the loneliest part of that lonely place they
      flung their gore-clotted burden into an unclean hole.
      The jury, after some brief deliberations, found a verdict of wilful murder
      against Catherine Moore and Bridget Thompson, mother and daughter.
      Mr. Budds drew up a committal for them accordingly, and they are to be
      transmitted to the county jail at Maryborough, there to await for trial until
      next spring assizes. The principal evidence against these wretched women will be
      supplied by two persons connected with them by the closest ties of sanguinity.
      In closing this report, so illustrative of how far truth may be stranger
      even than fiction, it is but justice towards the sub-inspector, Mr. Warburton,
      to remark that his exertions in pursuing this horrible tragedy through all its
      dark details, deserve the highest commendation. On expressing our astonishment
      at the coincidence of the women, after an absence of nearly four weeks returning
      to the very spot where 12 men were holding an inquest on the putrid remains of
      the man whom she had murdered, we were informed that Mr. Warburton, not being
      able to discharge from his mind the impression of Moore's murder, wrote to the
      man with whom he had stopped during the previous trip to Liverpool, and who had
      been a friend of his, to ask if he and his wife had arrived safe? and inquiring
      if he was aware of their getting off to America as the neighbors were anxious to
      hear of their welfare. Mrs. Moore happened to be at the time and inmate of this
      very lodging-house at Liverpool; the man read the letter for her. She expressed
      her uneasiness and said she should return home, as something must have happened
      to poor Pat. She accordingly left Liverpool for Tolerton and reached at the very
      crisis when her presence was necessary for the fulfilment of the ends of
      justice.--Leinster Express.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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