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!! Irish Catholic Chronicle; Nov 2, 1867 "Fenians"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    Irish Catholic Chronicle And People s News of the Week Dublin, Ireland Saturday, 2 November 1867 THE MANCHESTER SPECIAL COMMISSION The Special Commission for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 18, 2004
      Irish Catholic Chronicle And People's News of the Week
      Dublin, Ireland
      Saturday, 2 November 1867

      The Special Commission for the trial of the twenty-six Fenian prisoners
      charged with being concerned in the murder of Police Sergeant Brett, was
      formally opened on Saturday by Mr. Justice Blackburn and Mr. Justice Mellor.
      All Manchester and Salford and the surrounding towns fell the strangeness
      of the circumstances which have led to the Commission, and hardly know what to
      really think of Fenians. Now that the first shock of the think has been got
      over, they are beginning to recognize in the Fenian organization something
      beyond mere desire to commit outrages. I was speaking on Thursday to Mr.
      Ridgway, one of the principal witnesses of the rescue on Hyde-road, and he said,
      "I believe Allen and his party had no desire to commit murder, if they could
      have rescued Kelly or Deasy without sacrificing life. They might have shot
      several of us if they were intent on committing outrages." This feeling is now
      growing up here, and for the sake of Irish character in general, it is better
      that this should be so. It is, after all, preferable to have it understood as an
      incident in a political offence, than to have it set forth as the mere murderous
      propensities of "the Irish." On Saturday evening the discussion in the
      Manchester Anthenaeum was upon the following:- "What is the cause of Fenianism?"
      many crude and ill-considered notions were put forth on the matter, but one
      member, the son of Irish parents, tried in a very fair and reasonable speech to
      correct many erroneous notions held of the Irish. Thus the Fenian question crops
      up every where in this great business city at present.
      The Fenian prisoners are held in custody in the New Baily prison in
      Salford, and a guard of over 200 soldiers is quartered in the gaol, and armed
      police move up and down outside of it. If they had guarded Kelly and Deasy half
      as well, they would have had no necessity to guard Allen and his associates, and
      the Commission in Green-street, Dublin, would now be trying the former instead
      of a Special Commission in Manchester trying the latter. The Manchester Examiner
      advocates a postponement of the trials, in order to give longer time to the
      accused to prepare their defense. The Crown has hitherto refused any punishment.
      The principal prisoner is William O'Meara Allen. he is twenty years of age
      only, and about five feet ten inches high. H is long-featured, pale, fleshless,
      high cheek-bones, beardless, but with a great head of black curly hair. He is
      entirely a Celt in every feature. He has very small eyes, deeply set, with next
      to no eyebrows. He is a joiner by trade and has worked in many leading shops in
      this city and in Salford. He is an excellent billiard player, and was well known
      at most of the many billiard rooms here. William Gould, his companion, is about
      thirty years of age, five feet nine and a half inches high, a clerk, and well
      educated. He is very handsome looking. His features are round and full just the
      reverse of Allen's. He is also perfectly beardless, with a good head of
      yellowish fair hair. Michael Larkin is a tailor, thirty-two years of age, five
      feet six inches high, with as the Americans say, "a goatee" on the point of his
      There are many hundred or rather thousands of workers now idle in
      Manchester, with mills stopped, owing to bad trade and crowds of these assemble
      at the New Bailey, to try and catch a glimpse of the prisoners whenever they are
      being moved about. The want of employment here at present will cause great
      crowds about the courts in Salford where the judges sit.

      ...to be continued...

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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