!! Connaught Journal; Aug 12,. 1824 "Carroll Trial - Prosecution- part 1"
- THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
Galway, Thursday, August 12, 1824
Wednesday, August 4
TRIAL OF THE REV. MR. CARROLL
This morning, Mr. Justice JOHNSTON entered the court precisely at half-past
nine o'clock. On his Lordship taking his seat, there was an application made by
Mr. Shiel for postponing this trial until the next morning.
After a consultation of some minutes, it was intimated that the Counsel for
the Crown would not accede to the postponement.
Mr. O'Connell - With every respect for the private reasons of the Gentleman
opposite, I must say that their refusal is without precedent.
Judge JOHNSON - The application, Sir, I think, is without precedent.
John Carroll, Nicholas Wickham, James Devereux, Patrick Parel, Nicholas
Corrish, and Walter Scallan - the three latter of whom had surrendered since the
previous day, were then placed at the bar.- It was stated that the prisoners
would not join in their challenge.
Mr. Driscoll - Then we must try them separately. The other prisoners were
withdrawn from the bar, and the Rev. Mr. Carroll alone allowed to remain.
The panel was here called over. It consisted of 300 names, 116 of whom
answered. There were several challenges, principally on behalf of the prisoners,
and at eleven o'clock the Jury was sworn.
Mr. Dickson, Counsel for the prisoners, said, that the Jury having been
sworn, he would not allow all the prisoners to be tried together. The prisoners
were then put to the bar, and the indictment having been read, the Rev. Mr.
Carroll was then asked in the usual way, "Wheter he was guilty or not guilty;"
but he returned no answer. He was then asked had he heard the indictment read;
but he continued silent. A second and third time the question of "Are you guilty
or not guilty," was put to him, but without obtaining any answers.
Mr. Bennett- As Counsel for the unfortunate prisoners at bar, a question
arises, whether he stands mute from another cause, that of being incapable of
comprehending the nature of the indictment. We are prepared to prove that he is
utterly unable to understand the meaning of a question put to him, or almost any
question that may be asked him.
It was understood, from an observation made by Mr. Shiel that he pleaded
He appears to be a strong man, above the middle size, rather corpulent, and
about forty years of age.
Mr. Driscoll, K.C. stated the case for the Crown - He said that this was
one of the most distressing cases that ever came before a Criminal Court of
Justice, whether it were viewed in reference to the reverend character of the
prisoner at the bar, or as one in which the life of a fellow creature had been
forfeited. The King, for whom he prosecuted, had a right to show how one of his
subjects came by her death, and the Jury were placed in that box for the purpose
of ascertaining the facts. A case of a similar nature to that which he now was
about to state them, never before occurred in Ireland, nor was there a parallel
to be found for it in the annals of the British history.- Before, however, his
going into the merits of the case, he would call upon the Jury to dismiss from
their minds the impressions injurious to the prisoner, whether received through
the medium of the newspapers or conveyed by public rumour.
William Furlong was then called and examined by Mr. Dougherty.
Lives at Ballysheen, in the parish of Killinick; is acquainted, and was
before the 9th of last month; with the Rev. Mr. Carroll; knew him since he was
able to walk; lives in the same liberty with him; knows Thomas Sinnot; he lives
in Killinick; recollects seeing Father Carroll on the 9th of last month at
Sinnot's house; saw him first that day at seven o'clock in the evening at Widow
Neal's house, near Sinnot's; was at her house, where there was a great number of
people; Father Carroll was at that time walking on the road with his hat off;
there were from two to three hundred people there; some were kneeling and some
were standing; heard some of the people say, "Jesus strengthen the man;" Father
Carroll then came up to where the woman of the name of Moran was lying
speechless on the ground; the Priest came up with his hat off, to where Mrs.
Moran was lying; he looked at her for some time; he then stamped twice with his
foot, and said "begone;" after which he spit upon her; he then threw himself on
his back, and rubbed the back of his hand for some time against the gravel,
until he cut it; Father Carroll then walked up and down for some time close to
Mrs. Moran; he thought when he saw Father Carroll throw himself back that he was
mad, and could prove it; witness was first kneeling., but when he saw the priest
throw himself back, got up; Mr. Carroll, after a short time, stood over Mrs.
Moran's head, and said, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Father, Father, Father, assist
me!" and at the same time he kept moving his head round, the then said some
words in Latin, which witness did not understand; the majority of the three
hundred person present remained kneeling all the time; witness made no
observation on the state of Mr. Carroll's mind at that time; the Priest then
went away towards Sinnot's house; witness, remained for some time with Mrs.
Moran, and then followed Father Carroll to Sinnot's with the intention of
fetching him out; a great number also went down the road after the Priest;
Sinnot's house was about forty perches from where Mrs. Moran lay; was so much
confused by the conduct of the Priest that he cannot say how soon after the
Priest he went to Sinnot's The room, when he arrived at Sinnot's, was crowded;
the kitchen door was apparently ajar; Father Carroll was in the room off the
kitchen. This room was also so crowded that he could not see the Priest; heard
water dashing about the room; saw the Priest afterwards; thought the child was
under the tub.- When he first saw the Priest he was in bed; saw a tub then over
the child; Mr. Carroll was standing on the bottom of the tub, and he sometimes
leaped and pranced upon the tub, and while leaping on the tub he said, "Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus, Father, Father, Father;" saw the father and mother of the child in
the room where the Priest was; after leaping on the tub, he sat down and
expressed some words; sat there from three to three hours and a half; unloosened
his gaiter, and took off his stockings, and rubbed his leg with his hand; during
this time Father Carroll whistled a hornpipe, the name of which witness forgets,
and kept time with his foot; did not see the child till four o'clock in the
morning; the child was then dead; at 4 o'clock he took the Priest away; can't
say who took the tub off the child; did not go near the child till he brought
Father Carroll away; held the stirrup while the Priest mounted his horse;
returned to the house in a bout five minutes after Father Carroll left it; saw
Sinnot and his wife; the child was then on the bed, and the tub at the foot of
it; the child was at the time dead; heard the child cry when he first went into
the house; did not hear the child say anything except "O, daddy, daddy, I mammy,
mammy! O, save me!" - [The witness here identified Father Carroll.]- Told a
person of the name of Sinnot, that the Priest was deranged; this occurred while
Father Carroll was in the room; also told his (witness's) wife of it; sent,
while Father John Carroll was sitting on the tub, for Father Keeffe, Father
Ennis, and Father Rowe, but the messenger did not to; cannot say who it was he
desidered to go; cannot say why, considering that the Priest was mad, he did not
go himself; took no step to interfere when he saw Carroll sitting on the tub,
though at the time he thought the Priest mad; the child at that time he knew to
be under the tub; saw no person at Sinnot's try to prevent the Priest from
sitting on the tub; when he (the witness) was going into the room, Parel, one of
the prisoners, asked him, whether he was mad or drunk, and desired him to keep
out of the way, as the Priest was at that moment going to exercise the Devil,
and that he (the Devil) might hurt witness in his passage out of the room; at
this time the people had formed a passage to let the Devil pass; this occurred
long after he had been first in the room.- [ The witness here identified Parel,
one of the prisoners in the dock.] - Saw Wickham, another of the prisoners, at
Sinnot's; he (Wickham) had a candle in his hand at the time; and was standing
near the Priest, did not see Father Carroll since he rode away that morning,
until he saw him in Court yesterday.
By the COURT - Saw the child dead in the morning; heard it cry when he
first entered the house; did not interfere, as he thought the Priest could
perform a miracle, although he certainly thought him deranged.
Mr. Dixon said, it would be his duty, in justice to his clients, to put a
few questions to the witness.
Cross-examined by Mr. Dixon.
Knows Father Carroll since he had been able to walk; has been curate of the
parish of Killinick for several years; always heard he was a pious, good man and
that he strove to keep the lower orders down; the people had great confidence in
him as a holy man, and considered that he could work miracles; was considered to
be a kind and humane man; thought him capable of an act of cruelty - (a laugh)-
meant the he was not capable of an act of cruelty; witness first came up when
Mr. Moran was lying on the ground; heard he people say that Father Carroll had a
few minutes before that cast out a devil from a man at Widow Neal's house; is
quite sure the people said it was the devil, or a serpent, or some such thing;
the people implicitly believed it; witness was somewhat doubtful, as he had not
seen it; the people thought that Father Carroll could work miracles; it was
reported in the country that he had worked a miracle on Miss Browne; that belief
was firm; it was also believed that Father Carroll had been called upon by
Neal's family to work a miracle on Neal, who had been bedridden for a long time,
and that the Priest had effected his cure. Sinnot's child was three and a half
years old; the child was troubled with flu. It was the common belief in the
country that when a person had fits it was caused by the devil.- From all he saw
and heard, he believed it was Father Carroll's intention to cure the child. All
the prisoners believed that he could and would cure the child, but faith he (the
witness) did not think it. None present, as he saw, helped him in his
operations. The reason why a passage was made in the crowd was to allow the
devil to pass from the child - [ The whole of the prisoners here, with the
exception of Carroll, burst out laughing]- The house was at the time crowded;
does not know whether the Priest was at that time under the care of a physician.
By a Juror - Suffered the Priest to sit upon the child, though he thought
...to be continued...
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News