!! Connaught Journal; Aug 9, 1824 "Carlow Assizes"
- THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
Galway, Monday, August 9, 1824
VERY IMPORTANT TRIAL
Thomas Kelly was indicted for stealing two pigs the property of James
Doyle, of Browne's-hill, in the county of Carlow, which two identical pigs the
said Kelly afterwards sold in Newtownbarry, in the county of Wexford, some
Saturday in the month of June last.
Jonathan David Clarke, Esq. stated the case for the Crown with his usual
eloquence and legal knowledge. -
He said, that the pigs had been stolen on the day or night laid to the
indictment, out of a certain house, belonging to the prosecutor! that the said
two pigs were of a considerable value, and let the Gentlemen of the Jury, who
were probably all owners of more or less pigs - let them, he would say, put the
matter to their own feelings as men conversant in the pig-trade, what must be
the disappointment of the prosecutor when he found that his two excellent pigs
had been stolen. This practice of pig-stealing had risen in a most alarming
height, and if not checked in its progress by the corrective of legal
punishment, there was no saying where it would end- there was no man who could
calculate on the safety of his pigs for one hour. He hoped and trusted the
Gentlemen of the Jury would give the subject all the consideration which so
important a case deserved, and if they clearly saw, by the evidence which should
be produced before them on the trial, that they clearly saw, by the evidence
which would be produced before them on the trial, that the charge of stealing
would be fully brought home to the prisoner at the bar, he must anticipate the
conviction of the unfortunate pig-stealer. But, if on the other hand, they
should entertain a rational doubt either of the personal identity of the pigs,
or of the prisoner's guilt, his Lordship would tell them that the prisoner was
entitled to the benefit of that doubt, and, consequently, to acquittal. In their
hands he should confidently leave the case, after he should produce the
necessary evidence- to Gentlemen of their vigorous minds and enlightened
understanding he felt that it was unnecessary to say another word on the
subject, and he should not, therefore, trespass further on their time, or on the
time of his Lordship.
After Counsellor Clarke sat down, considerable time was lost in identifying
pigs. The most accurate description that could be given was, that they were
Connaught pigs with short tails.
Mr. Hawthorn, a weaver, was produced as an evidence to identify the pigs -
he stated that he lived between the Church and the Chapel, and appeared very
indignant at being called a mongrel by one of the Lawyers. He proved - Quere,
what did he prove?
On his cross-examination he said he was a loyal Protestant- and a sodger
with a good kerecter.
Isaac B. Bethel, Esq., Barrister at Law, and Mr. Barrett, Attorney, at the
same calling, volunteered for pure humanity sake, to defend the prisoner.
Mr. Bethel showed considerable ingenuity, and a very profound knowledge of
law, in his defence of he pig-stealer. He quoted several Statutes both ancient
and modern, which made it imperative on the prosecutor to identify the pigs. It
had been stated, he said, by Learned Counsel on the opposite side, that the pigs
which had been conveyed from and out of the custody of the prosecutor, were
Connaught pigs with short tails. Now, with great deference to that Learned
Gentleman, he, (Mr. Bethel), would confidently assert that cocked tails were,
time immemorial, a characteristic mark of Connaught pigs - and this he could
account for by reference to physical causes, were it not that he feared to
trespass too long in the attention of the Court.
After the case had been closed, his Lordship delivered an elaborate charge
to the Jury on the manifold mischiefs which the crime of pig-stealing caused in
society - and the Jury, after a short consultation, found the prisoner - Guilty.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News