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!! Times; Aug 13, 1835 "Galway Assizes"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    The Times London, Middlesex, England August 13, 1835 IRELAND (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Dublin, Aug. 10 ASSIZE INTELLIGENCE GALWAY ASSIZES- Crown Court,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2004
      The Times
      London, Middlesex, England
      August 13, 1835


      Dublin, Aug. 10
      GALWAY ASSIZES- Crown Court, Thursday.


      Michael Ryan and Thomas Collins were placed at the bar, charged with the
      wilful murder of Honora Ryan.
      Patrick Hession was the first witness sworn- Was in the service of Mr.
      Killikelly as a shepherd. Recollects the 2d or 3d of February. It was on the
      night of Monday. Met a woman's cloak. Took it up and brought it home. Went in
      the same direction again. Saw blood on the cloak
      John Atkinson, the son of Chief Constable sworn.- On the morning of Tuesday
      went out on a search three-fourths of a mile from Dunmore. Saw a man with a
      bundle of clothes, a cloak and a gown. There was blood on the gown. Saw them
      with Patrick Sweeny. Gave them to the policeman. On searching saw a human body
      in the river. Its head was cut off. Found the head 12 yards above the body,
      lying in the centre of the river; took it up by the hair, and upon examination
      found a head fitted to the body; the neck was shrunk and would not fit; knows it
      to be the body of the woman; found a small pair of shoes; saw the blood 13 or 14
      yards from the river; the ground was wet with it; it appeared in three several
      places opposite to where he found the body; saw wool between the teeth; was
      present when the remains were recognized by the wife of one of the prisoners;
      this was on Tuesday; the coroner was sent for, and swore the jury in the evening
      of that day; saw a dark gray cloak.
      Felix M'Donnell sworn and examined.- Lives at Park, in this county; knows
      the prisoners; one of them lived in his service; knows the other; lives half a
      mile from him; knew Honora Ryan; saw her the last time in January last; saw her
      dead on Thursday, the 5th of February, in Dunmore; went to Dunmore; by chance
      went into where the remains lay; instantly recognized the remains to be the
      remain of those of Honora Ryan; did not observe the head; recognized the
      features and the gown she wore; she was a married woman, the wife of Michael
      Ryan, the prisoner; came to my house to visit her husband; came more than once;
      remained not more than an hour to my knowledge; saw Ryan next morning; Ryan came
      up to me at Blake's door, two miles from Dunmore; saw him at the inquest;
      brought him in to Dunmore; Ryan saw the remains at Dunmore; he thought it was
      his wife; I had no doubt, and thought he should have much less; he then said it
      was; Ryan said he did not see her for three weeks, but afterwards acknowledged
      to have seen her within 10 days; he refused to come to Dunmore; I brought him
      in; cautioned him not to tell me anything that would condemn himself; he said
      the rest of the servants were out, but that he was within that night; used to
      sleep with Thomas Kelly and Pat Walsh; wore a stable jacked purchased by me; the
      distance was five miles from where the body was found to my house; gave up Ryan
      to the police; Mr. Birmingham, the magistrate, came to me, and we found Collins
      and his wife there; went to the inquest; the police arrested Collins and the
      rest of my servants; called in prisoners one by one; Collins begged of me to let
      him go; told him that I could not; Ryan and his wife lived on bad terms; told me
      he never would live with her; he wished she was dead and damned; that he was
      compelled to marry her; visited Ryan yesterday; remained a quarter of an hour;
      paid him three visits; got 10l. and the expenses of witness; is not an embryo
      magistrate; knew her head; knew her gown; recognized her instantly; told him
      yesterday he ought to call in a clergyman; Ryan sent for me each time; Kelly is
      in my service; Walsh is not; examined her accurately; saw gloves and a
      The other evidence was confirmatory.
      Mr. Hosty, the coroner, sworn-[ The Crown Counsel handed in as evidence the
      declarations of Ryan, the prisoner, to which Mr. Fallon, the prisoner's counsel,
      objected. After a long argument the Judge said, thought he had an opinion of its
      admissibility, he would yet wish to consult with his brother Crampton.] Received
      the declarations from Mr. Tulley; duly precautioned the prisoner against saying
      anything that would tend to criminate himself; read them over for the prisoner;
      he acknowledged that they were all right; the prisoner signed them in witness's
      presence; he (witness) and other gentlemen then subscribed their names to this
      voluntary confession; the prisoner's declaration was read; he acknowledged his
      guilt; it also affected the other prisoner; Collins denied the truth of it, upon
      which Ryan said, "You can't deny the fact, as I never would commit the deed were
      it not at your instigation." Collins persisted in his denial.
      A long discussion took place between counsel on both sides. The Judge said
      he would take care that it should not be considered conclusive. The Judge then
      asked the prisoners if they wished anything to say anything, as the Court and
      Jury were ready to hear them.
      Ryan said he knew not what he was about when he made that confession; that
      he was taken in by the gentlemen.
      Collins, the other prisoner, strongly before God protested his innocence.
      After a long charge from the Judge, the Jury retired, and after remaining
      some time in the room returned with a verdict of Guilty. At the announcement of
      the verdict the wretched prisoners seemed unconscious of their fate,
      particularly the old man Collins. At this moment his Lordship, who seemed
      greatly affected, proceeded to pass sentence of death on them, which he did in
      so feeling a manner that he scarcely left a dry eye in court. They were ordered
      for execution on Saturday (this day.)

      On Thursday last, at an early hour, vast crowds were hurrying from every
      direction to witness this truly feeling exhibition, and at about 2 o'clock there
      could not be less than from 5,000 to 6,000 people present; indeed, from the
      Court-house to the gaol was one moving mass of human beings, and every other
      quarter that could afford a view was equally thronged. After the clergyman had
      given them some religious consolation, they shook hands with each of them and
      retired, shortly after which the fatal drop gave way, and both were in a few
      moments hurried into eternity.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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