Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, Oct 31, 1849
THE MURDER AT RATHKIP
On Wednesday last, Meredith Thompson, Esq., Coroner, proceeded with the
inquest on the body of John Mullin, murdered at Rathkip on the night of Sunday
or the morning of Monday previous. Sub-Inspector O'Reily assisted in the
investigation. Before the examination of the following witnesses several were
produced but their evidence did not afford the slightest clue to the discovery
of the murderers.
Constable Phibbs examined-On hearing of the murder proceeded to Rathkip
between 11 and 12 o'clock on the morning of Monday the 22d; found the body of
John Mullin, lying on the right side in an open field, moved it about, and
looked at the state in which it was; found the left pocket of his trousers
turned out and the right pocket torn off; found the deceased's hat lying a yard
or two from the body when he came up; there were no marks of a struggle, the
cloths were not dirty or wet though it rained very much that night and morning;
if Mullin was out that night as it is said he was he would be quite wet for
there is no shelter in the fields; arrested several persons on suspicion.
The Coroner here called upon Doctor M'Munn for his evidence. It appeared
that the Coroner not being satisfied with Dr. Fausett's port mortem examination
on Tuesday, sent out Doctor M'Mun to make a second post mortem examination, but
the jury were of opinion that it were better to hear Doctor Fausett first, who
was then sent for.
Coroner-Doctor, are you a qualified surgeon, as I believe none but a
surgeon can make a post mortem examination at an inquest.
Doctor Fausett- No, but I am a physician, having taken my diploma in 1797
and I consider myself sufficiently qualified as medical practitioner of so many
years to give the necessary evidence in this case.
The Forman of the Jury-I think we better examine Dr. Fausett.
Coroner-Very well. Doctor, take the book.
Doctor Fausett- Not before I am paid two guineas, the usual fee.
Coroner-I am not going to pay you now out of my own pocket, so if you will
not give your evidence before you are paid we must examine Doctor M'Munn.
Doctor M'Munn was then examined- Examined the body of the deceased and saw
several wounds on the head, especially on the right side where there is a very
extensive fracture and extravasation of blood which was the cause of death; the
wound was such as might be inflicted by a small hammer generally used in
breaking stones for roads.
Denis Carabine, one of those arrested on suspicion, was next sworn after
being cautioned to say nothing that might criminate himself-Deceased lodged in
his house since last spring; on last Sunday night Mullen went out about ten
o'clock and (witness) went out with him and remained out about half an hour
looking after his crops; heard no noise except of some youngsters at a distance;
when Mullin was out I never bolted the door; never saw him count any money; he
owed me 10s. 6d. for lodging and milk; it was after daylight when I got up on
Monday morning, said my prayers and went out to dig some potatoes for my
breakfast, I had a few potatoes eaten when a chap came in with an account of the
murder. Witness bought a cow on last Saturday but only paid 6d. earnest for it;
was to give £2 16s. 3d. for the cow; saved about £3 out of his earnings; used to
earn 7d. a day and some times 1s. a-day at job work; lent the £3 to my
mother-in-law, Mary Clarke; widow M'Anally, and her daughter, who lodged with
him, and himself and his wife were in the house on Sunday night.
Pat M'Loughlin examined-Lives in Ballina; Denis Carabine was bout three
months behind in his employment; was not with him the last fortnight; heard
Carabine say he was preparing to go to America; thinks 3s. 6d. a-week would
support him and his wife; does not know what means he had to take him to
Widow Mary Clarke sworn.-Is mother-in-law to Denis Carabine; he drove a cow
on Saturday last by my house for me to see it; I have none of Carabine's money,
but his wife gave me £3; this money was lent to Carabine by deceased, John
Mullin; he lent him the money a few days before his death; cannot say what day
she got the money; thinks it was yesterday; Carabine's wife gave witness the
money in her (witness's) house; it was before breakfast when her daughter-in-law
gave her the money; is certain it was this side of Sunday; does not know whether
it was on Saturday or Sunday Carrabine's wife said Mullin lent the money; can't
say whether Mullin was dead or not when she got the notes.
Mary Carabine examined- Mullin did not sleep in my house on Sunday night;
he went out about 9 or 10 o'clock; no one followed him out; witness went to bed
then; her husband could not go out unknown to her; is positive her husband did
not go with or after Mullin on Sunday night; no man came into the house before
Mullin went out that evening; witness's brother, Owen Clark, was twice in our
house on Sunday; Owen Clark lives with my mother; knows of no notes; her mother
has none of her money [ The question was then pressed by the jury] Recollects
her husband giving her £3 the day before yesterday (Monday); they were pound
notes; witness never borrowed money from Mullin; could not say how her husband
got the money; he bought a cow but did not yet pay for it; her husband was
talking of going to America he was saying he would borrow money to pay for the
Owen Clark examined- Lives in Ballybolan; knew John Mullin; did not see him
since last Thursday; was at Denis Carabine's on last Sunday' was there twice
that day; left it in the evening at nightfall; went home straight from
Carabines; my brother Michael, my mother and sister were at home; no man was in
Carabine's that evening but myself; 8 or 9 o'clock when I was there; Mullin was
not there; saw no money given to his mother, but heard she got £1 from Mullin a
week before his death; did not hear that Carabine got any money from deceased,
but thinks he borrowed money to pay the rent; did not hear that his mother got
any money from his sister, Carabine's wife; this is not the shirt witness had on
on Sunday; he wore a hat that day and a white waistcoat; the shirt and the
waistcoat are now some where in the house; witness's house is about half a mile
The inquest was then adjourned to the following day when Mr. Edward Howley,
Michael Clark examined- I am son of widow Clark; works with Mr. Grose in
Ardnaree, and sleeps at his mother's; on yesterday (Wednesday) she told witness
she had £3 in the chest and to get it, he then went and got three notes; his
mother never told him she borrowed money from John Mullin; his brother did not
tell him where he was on Sunday, but heard him tell his mother that he was at
Mr. Irwin's about some money.
Here the notes which were found with Michael Clark were examined and they
presented some slight traces of blood.
Pat Fury, Michael Fury, Wm. Feeny, Peter M'Manaman, Pat Kearney, and Wm.
Neary were next examined but there was nothing in their evidence of any
Ellen M'Anally-Lodges in Carabine's and was there on Sunday night; knows
the two Clark's and saw Owen Sunday morning at Carabine's; [after much
hesitation]-Owen Clark came to Carabine's about two hours of (after) night and
was about an hour in the house; Clark was not in the house when Mullin came in;
at the time Mullin went out we all went to bed; is certain Carabine did not go
with him, if he did he was not out 5 minutes; could not say whether Carabine
swore the truth when he said he went out with Mullin and remained out about half
William Kelly, the lad who herded Mullin's sheep was re-examined but
nothing important illicited.
A shirt found in Clark's house was here exhibited. It was wet and dirty and
greatly soiled with soot drops which in one or two places appeared like blood.
The white waistcoat and hat worn by Owen Clark on Sunday could not be found by
the police. The inquest was further adjourned to Friday next, and Denis
Carabine, Owen Clark, Michael Clark, Mary Carabine and Eliza M'Anally were
committed to the Sligo gaol.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News