!! Connaught Journal; Aug 23, 1824 "Kerry Assizes"
- THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
Galway, Monday, August 23, 1824
TRALEE, AUGUST 10 - The Hon. Mr. Justice JEBB and the Hon. Mr. Justice
VANDELEUR arrived here this day, from Limerick.
Denis Sullivan stood charged with having administered an unlawful oath to
James Barrett, and with an assault on the person of Thomas Doherty and James
Barrett- committed on the 7th April at Duree, in this County.
James Barrett swore, that as he and Doherty were on the 7th of April,
proceeding to the home of Mr. M'Sweeny, to serve a process, they were met by the
prisoner, and a number of other men; they took a number of papers from them by
force; tore the seal from some of them, and forced them back on the witness;
they then beat him very severely, and pursued him with a branding iron for some
distance, when he fell from loss of blood. On coming up they made him go on his
knees; gave him a book, and made him swear, never to go to that place again, to
which witness replied, "I'll engage - I won't" - they also swore him not to have
any more to do with respect to the legal proceedings against Mr. M'Sweeny, and
that he would not prosecute any of those present- during all this and while they
were beating witness, Sullivan was within 40 or 50 yards of the men, who
occasionally carried to him (he being the only one amongst them who could read)
the papers of which they had deprived witness; there were others amongst the
men, whose names he knows; saw John Curran amongst them, who has a right to know
better than witness himself who it was that beat him.
Thomas Doherty corroborated in part the testimony of the last witness,
stating that he saw the prisoner collar Barrett; on being asked whether the
beating he got might not prevent his swearing with such accuracy, he replied
that if the Counsel himself got such a beating, he would not be able to swear
with great accuracy. This witness left the table, saying that he would not
answer all their question, for there were too many of them at him.
John Curran swore that he was present during the assault; is of opinion
that Barrett & Doherty got enough of it; saw no paper taken from Barrett.
Daniel Sullivan stated that on the Monday in question, he went to Mr.
M'Sweeny's - the men were not beat at all, as he was in the house with Sullivan
all the time.
Mr. M'Gillicuddy deposed to the general good character of the prisoner, who
was found guilty of the assault and riot, and acquitted on the charge of
administering the oath; he was sentenced to twelve months hard labour.
CONVICTION OF CAPTAIN COTTER FOR THE MURDER OF MR. BRERETON
On Friday, the 12th, Timothy Cotter was put to the bar, charged with the
murder of William Brerton, committed at Shannagh, in this county, on the 24th
The circumstances proved were most barbarous. The deceased, in company with
his man, had undertaken to convey the Mail from Killarney to Millstreet, on the
24th January, 1824, the coach having been stopped the preceding night, by the
insurgents. At Carriganimi, four miles from Killarney, they were met by a number
of people armed with scythes, pitchforks, and other weapons, who immediately
assailed them, dragging Bryan M'Guire, Mr. Brereton's servant, off his horse,
and makign a furious attack upon Brereton himself, who had resolution enough,
being mounted on a spirited horse, to drive through an immense crowd of the
assailants who surrounded him on all sides. He had partly succeeded, when a
stroke of a scythe was made at his horse, which almost cut off the hind quarter
of the animal - the horse, urged by the impetus, still advanced for about ten
yards, when he fell. Brereton was surrounded and inhumanely butchered. When he
was found, one arm was cut off, and the entire body was literally covered with
wounds. Bryan M'Guire, Dennis Sullivan, (an approver), and a policeman, were
examined on the part of the Crown; Mr. John Kelly, of the police establishment,
was also examined, when the circumstances of guilt were clearly proved against
the prisoner, who produced one witness, who was wholly insufficient to
invalidate the other testimony.
Mr. Justice Jebb charged the Jury; and Counsellor Walshe, long before the
verdict was announced, charitably returned the unhappy man his fee. He seemed to
receive it as an earnest of his approaching fate, and though apparently removed
during the entire trial, shook his head with melancholy significance upon
receiving the money.
The Jury did not remain long in deliberation, but gave in the expected
verdict of "guilty;" and the usual question being put to the prisoner, if he had
any thing to say in arrest of the sentence of death, he answered that he would
leave it all to God. The Judge then addressed him, in a most impressive and
solemn manner, exhorting him to seek mercy from that God, who had never denied
it; who would not deny it to him though he (the prisoner) had refused it in the
unhappy man who had fallen an innocent and harmless victim to his cruelty and
barbarity. His Lordship dwelt with much eloquence upon the atrocity of the
crime; the cowardly spirit which could prompt the commission of such a horrid
act; and the extreme clearness of the violence upon which the prisoner was found
guilty. He then passed upon him the awful sentence of the law, during the entire
of which the prisoner behaved with such resolution and composure as to excite
the wonder of the entire Court.
The next was a trial which awakened the deepest interest; the Court was
crowded to excess; a profound silence resigned throughout; when Edward Orpen,
Esq, late of Island Lodge, in this County, was put to the bar, charged with most
willful and corrupt perjury. The indictment, which was very long, was formally
read through; it contained several counts, upon each of which the prisoner was
accused of the above crime, committed with the intention of defrauding J.
Hurley, Esq. of the benefit of a mortgage on the property of J. Russell, to the
evil example of all others, and contrary to the King's peace, his Crown &
This was a case, arising out of a trial of two issues, from the Court of
Exchequer, which was disposed of before Mr. Serjeant Lefroy, at the last Assizes
for this County.
Many witnesses were examined upon the trial of Mr. Orpen, and after an able
charge from Judge Jebb, the Jury having retired for about half an hour, returned
with a verdict of Guilty.
His Lordship then addressed the prisoner, and having, in the course of a
severe reproof, dwelt with much eloquence and force upon the unexampled enormity
of his crime, sentenced him to transportation for seven years.
It was near 10 o'clock at night when this trial was over and the following
morning was appointed for the trial of Mr. Rice O'Connor, the Agent for the
former prosecution, and a party in the cause, charged with further indictment,
with a conspiracy against Mr. John Hurley, and a subordination of perjury. This
prosecution however id not go on, it was put off by affidavit from the prisoner,
stating that he had not sufficient notice of the indictment, and that he would
be prepared by the next Assizes. To this measure Mr. Hurley readily consented,
stating, through his Counsel, that they were most anxious to allow him every
opportunity of preparation, and hoping that he would be able to acquit himself
of the charge- He also consented to admit him to bail on his own recognizance.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News