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!! Connaught Journal; Aug 16, 1824 "Execution of 6 Men"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 1824 EXECUTION OF SIX MEN FOR MURDER Monday at an early hour, the avenues leading to the County Gaol were
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2005
      Galway, MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 1824

      Monday at an early hour, the avenues leading to the County Gaol were
      crowded with an immense multitude, assembled to behold the execution of Green
      and the two Minnanes, for the murder of Major Hare; and of Dawley and the two
      Flinns, for that of John Hartnet, driver to the Hon. Col. Fitzgibbon's estates,
      near Abbeyfeale.
      Precisely at 20 minutes after one, a party of the 3d Dragoon Guards, and a
      small party of Infantry, arrived at the gaol, and shortly after those for the
      murder of Major Hare walked out of their cells, attended each by two Clergymen.
      When first they came in sight of the fatal scaffold, they knelt down, and
      appeared very much absorbed with their devotions. James Minnane walked first,
      and was followed by Greene; the last who came up was Patrick Minane, whose
      conduct and appearances indicated much fortitude and resignation. They were all
      dressed in white baize, and the Clergymen, who attended them were in their full
      robes.- When the executioner made his appearance in order to adjust the ropes,
      &c., a murmur of disapprobation ran throughout the entire multitude.- After they
      had remained some time on the scaffold at their devotions, in which the voice of
      Patrick Minnane was audible to all around, from the clearness and distinctness
      with which he answered the Clergymen, they kissed each other, and bade the
      Clergymen and the person around them farewell. Pat Minnane, whose demeanour
      throughout the entire awful scene was that of a person of courage and piety
      deserving a different fate, then addressed the crowd in nearly the following
      words: "My friends, we entreat you to implore the mercy of God for us, through
      the merits of his blessed Son and of the Virgin Mary, that he may pardon us our
      sins and offences, and that he may have mercy on our souls. Our advice to you
      is, to shun all bad advice, to avoid evil company, and not to frequent
      public-houses, except on necessary occasions- avoid trivial occurrences which
      will come, by repetition, to weightier offences. Had we all the devotion and
      christianity which was recommended to us by our Clergymen, we would not arrive
      at this fate- had we attended to the directions of our Catholic Clergy, there
      would have been no occasion for this scaffold and that fatal stake, or for those
      ropes, and the multitude before us- had we abided by their directions at the
      holy altar, it is evident that this would not be our fatal end- on the other
      hand, it is not informations, nor indictments, nor capiases, that will be the
      means of pacifying the county Limerick, but the advice and exhortations of the
      Clergy. Oh! my friends, avoid whiskey-drinking, and cursing, and swearing- have
      nothing to do with combinations- be constant in attending the holy Mass- abide
      by what your Clergy say, and God will assist you all, and may he have mercy on
      our souls." These words he spoke in a clear, strong, and audible tone of voice,
      which was heard by eh crowd at the foot of the scaffold, on whom, it is to be
      hoped, that these few sensible remarks from one of themselves in his final
      moments, will make a lasting impression. At the conclusion of these sentences,
      they knelt on the scaffold, and remained in that attitude praying for a few
      minutes. As the hangman put the rope round the neck of James Minnane, a strong
      flash of red appeared on his countenance, while on Patrick, who was next to him,
      and stood in the centre, it did not make the least visible change; Green was at
      too great a distance from us, to observe what effect it had upon him. The
      executioner had descended the scaffold, and the clergymen were about to retire,
      when Pat Minnane remarked, that from the looseness of the tying round his arms,
      he feared that he was too much at liberty, and desired to have himself more
      tightly pinioned, which was accordingly done, and after the most solemn and
      awful silence for about a minute, the fatal drop fell, and this world closed on
      the eyes of the unfortunate men for ever. They died without much struggle,
      except for a very short while a slight convulsive shivering was observable
      throughout Green's entire frame. After hanging the usual time, their bodies were
      taken down, and removed to a back yard of the gaol.
      The fatal trap was again adjusted and the ropes arranged, when Murtogh and
      Daniel Flinn, and Dawley their servant, attended by the same Clergymen, and
      attired in the same manner as the three former, ascended the scaffold, when
      having remained a short while attending to their devotion, Daniel Flinn, who
      spoke in Irish, requested the prayers of the people, and declared that he was
      not present at the murder, but knew before-hand of its commital. The other two
      acknowledged their guilt, and begged of all to pray to God to pardon them. In a
      minute or two after the ropes being adjusted, the drop again fell, and this
      world and all its vanities disappeared for ever from their sight. Daniel Flinn
      died without much pain - but the struggles of Murtogh lasted for a very long
      while- he continued to thump his breast incessantly for more than four minutes,
      and kicked very much - altogether he appeared to have died with a great deal of
      pain. Their bodies having hung the required time, were taken down, and the whole
      six were removed that evening to the County Hospital; where they were dissected
      and anatomised. The awful spectacle of this day will, we hope, be productive of
      the most beneficial results on all who witnessed the melancholy, but absolutely
      necessary example made of those unfortunate beings, whose fate, had they
      followed good advice, might have been very different.- The Flinns and Dawley had
      been attended since their conviction and at execution, by the Rev. Mr.
      Fitzgerald, their Parish Priest, with unremitting attention.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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