Some 1820s outrages near Rathkeale, Limerick
- Edinburgh Advertiser; Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland; October 23, 1821
COUNTY OF LIMERICK - We entertained sanguine expectations that the mixture
of vigour and moderation which the Government of the country, and the local
authorities, were adopting in Limerick, would have been attended with the
happiest effects. It is therefore with feelings of grievous disappointment, as
well as abhorrence and disgust, that we are necessitated to add to the horrible
catalogue of crimes which disgrace the county of Limerick, an account of the
murder of Major Going, late Commandant of the Police, in a part of this
county. - Extract of a letter from Limerick, dated October 15:-
"You will be shocked to hear that Major Going was yesterday evening
inhumanly murdered near Cappah, a little beyond Adare. The assassins lodged five
bullets in his body, and, not satisfied that they fractured his skull. The body
lies in the Court-house of Rathkeale for an inquest."
We are told that so intent were they on the destruction of this unfortunate
gentleman that parties were placed on different roads to meet him, (similar to
the plan laid for the murder of the late Mr. Baker,) and that he was even
followed in and out of Limerick, by two men, for that purpose. After the murder
was effected, there was a joyous shout through the country, which re-echoed from
place to place; lighted heaps of straw were at night exhibited on the different
hills, in triumph of the accomplishment of this horrid deed. Mr. Going has left
a numerous young family. His widow is peculiarly the object of commiseration;
her respectable father, the late Mr. Doolen, of the King's county, was
assassinated in the year 1798 by a gang of rebels.
LIMERICK, Oct. 17 - Four o'clock - Mr. Going's remains have just reached
town, (and melancholy to state, under military escort,) on its way for interment
in the family vault at Kilbara, near Newport, county Tipperary. The procession
is attended by a vast concourse of respectable gentlemen from the surrounding
counties and a numerous train of tenantry.
On Monday evening, about six o'clock, John Walsh, one of the Adare corps of
yeomanry, having left his house (which is but a very short distance from that
village), for the purpose of purchasing some candles, was returning home, when
he was way-laid by a number of men, and most barbarously and inhumanly murdered.
He was a very inoffensive man, and much regarded in the corps. He has left a
wife and seven children.
That same evening, a man named Barrett, returning from Adare to his house
near Ballynolan, was attacked by a party of ruffians, who beat him so severely
with sticks and stones, that his life is despaired of. They charged him with
being a spy, which they said was enough to insure his destruction.
The Times; London, Middlesex, England; Oct 30, 1821
DISTURBED DISTRICTS IN IRELAND.
[From the Limerick Chronicle of Wednesday]
The fire-arms feloniously taken from Curragh-house, the seat of Sir Aubrey
De Vere Hunt, Bart., were not returned, as erroneously stated.
The report of the murders of Fitzgerald, Ives, Gorman, and a ? of this
county, (as stated in Dublin paper) is without the slightest foundation.
A notice of a most diabolical nature, signed "Captain John Rock," was posted
on the gate of Mr. Leake, of the Abbey, near Rathkeale, on Sunday night; it was
taken down the next morning by the police. A notice signed "Captain Thinkwell,
Road Surveyor, and county Ranger," calling on the parishioners of Ballybrew, in
this county, to meet on Sunday, relative to tithes, was generally posted on
Saturday. The assemblage was, however, prevented by the appearance of a strong
military force on the ground. This morning, thirty dragoons, with peace-officer
Smith, left Rathkeale for Croom, to prevent an illegal meeting called by the
would-be-legislators relative to tithes, which was intended to be held in that
neighbourhood this day.
On Thursday night last, between the hours of 10 and 11, the house of Mr.
William Meany, of Elton, was attacked by a number of armed ruffians, who fired
several shots in the direction of his bed, which, on hearing them, he had just
left; a thick iron screw was driven through the head of his bed and a partition
and lodged in the opposite wall - the curtains of his bed took fire from the
wadding of another piece - every window in the house was smashed to atoms.
Meany, being severely afflicted with rheumatism, was unable to give much
opposition, he is a very loyal and respectable man. The houses of Patrick Grady,
of Ballymurphy, Edmund Molony, Edmond and John Carmody, of Ashford and several
others in the same neighbourhood, were also attacked, and fire arms taken
On Sunday last, during divine service, the glebe house of the Rev. Norman
Garstin, near Kilpeacon, about three miles from this city, was entered in his
absence by 12 men with their faces blackened, some of whom secured the servants,
while the others proceeded up stairs to Mr. Garstin's bedroom, from whence they
took two guns and proceeded with speed towards the direction of Ballysimon. some
of them were in a state of nudity in the retreat. Most of the gentlemen's houses
in that neighbourhood were on the same day either plundered of arms or
attempted; and not less than 12 houses, we are informed, have been robbed of
arms, either by stratagem or force, during the last week, within a circle of
On Monday evening, about 6 o'clock, James Keenan, one of the county Limerick
mounted police, on his way from Rathkeale to Croom, was attacked near the
village of Craugh, by seven men, all armed, who had jumped from behind a ditch.
One of them seized his horse's bridle, upon which the policeman drew his pistol,
and unfortunately missed fire; he was instantly knocked off his horse by a blow
of some heavy weapon; his carbine, pistol, sword, ammunition, &c. were taken
from him, and being placed on his knees, all the ruffians surrounded him with
blunderbusses, and desired him to prepare for death. However, by the
interposition of their leader, his life was spared, and he was permitted to
mount his horse and retire, on taking an oath. Some horrid imprecations against
the entire police and the magistrates were used by the gang.
Extract of a letter from the neighbourhood of Ballingarry: - "I have just
learned that on Wednesday night the entire lead was stripped and plundered off
Mean-house, which has been lately built by Captain Duggan, between Kilmidy and
Mahonagh, in this county by an armed banditti. The purpose for which this lead
was plundered is obvious. The misguided ruffians are out very night in arms
committing every species of crime and latterly have posted notices as well
against payment of rents and taxes on tithes, and in several instances have
compelled farmers to abandon their farms which they have occupied for several
years; in truth, nothing short of the most coercive measures will bring this
unhappy country to a state of subordination. At present, no life, no property,
Edinburgh Advertiser; Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland; December 14, 1821
On Sunday night Thomas P. Vokes, Esq, with a serjeant and twelve men of the
3d Light Dragoons, left Rathkeale at ten o'clock and took up Michael Kelly,
Thomas Kielly, and three others for the murder of Mr. Sparling. The party did
not return till Monday.
Edinburgh Advertiser; Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland; March 12, 1822
The intelligence from Ireland is as revolting as ever. The boy conveying the
mail from Rathkeale to Shanagolden has been cruelly murdered, and the dragoon
who accompanied him wounded, after firing four shots. The outrages are now
principally directed against those houses which at any time have been let as
temporary barracks. The misguided peasantry, aware that their apprehension is
inevitable if found abroad after a certain hour, now keep in close ambush in the
mountains, and only detach strong armed parties during the night to provide
subsistence. It is satisfactory to learn that there is no truth in the alleged
outrage said to have been committed upon some women belonging to a detachment of
The Times; London, Middlesex, England; Oct 1, 1822
(From the Limerick Chronicle)
On Friday night last, Messrs. Kelly and Smith, of Captain Wilcock's Police,
succeeded in apprehending the noted James Fitzgibbon, Patrick Carty, John Molony
and Thomas Collins, all of whom are charged with the wilful murder of Ulick
Burke, Esq., in Feb. last near Cappa; they are lodged in Rathkeale Bridewell.
On the next morning at ten o'clock, a female, who had been seen the day
before at Rathkeale, and who was conceived to have given information which led
to the apprehension of the four fellows, proceeding to the well of Cappa, near
where she resided, for a can of water, was seized upon by a man with his face
blackened, who instantly dragged her into the grove, and in the most savage
manner attempted to cut her throat. The approach of some persons prevented the
miscreant carrying his intention into effect, as he only gave her some scars
under the chin, and by the humane directions of Mr. Kelly of Captain Wilcock's
Police, she is placed under surgical care in Rathkeale, and hopes are
entertained of her speedy recovery. The most prompt exertions were made by the
police, accompanied by Robert Peppard, Esq. and his son, to apprehend the
perpetrator, who has for the present escaped.
Since writing the above we have received the following from a respectable
"SIR, - I have to acquaint you with one of the most daring attempts at
assassination which perhaps has ever been recorded in the late, I fear, I may
add present, rebellion.
"As a girl of the name of Catherine Hickie was walking on the avenue
leading to Cappa-house, on Saturday last, about the hour of 11 in the forenoon,
a man, whose face was blackened, seized her, and dragged her into a grove that
stands by the avenue, and there with a razor cut her throat across, but
providentially the design of the ruffian is frustrated, as there are sanguine
hopes of the girl's recovery.
"This scene took place within from twenty to sixty yards of a cluster of
houses, one of them a forge, the door of which opened towards the spot to which
the assassin drew her, and in that forge were four men at the moment. I must
state that no suspicion of collusion rests against these four men, as the noise
in the forge prevented the girl's cries from being heard. There are two
police-men stationed at Cappa, and Mr. Peppard was walking within sight of, and
not more than two or three hundred yards from, the girl at the time the
transaction occurred; one of the most public roads in the county runs beside the
place where she was attacked.
"This outrageous attempt on the life of an innocent young woman, caused by
a suspicion of her having given information against murderers, is a clear
evidence that the spirit of desolation has only lain smothered during the few
months of doubtful tranquility that has reigned in this county, and the man's
face being blackened is a well-known symptom of rebellion."
"P.S.- I have opened my letter to inform you that one of Mr. Raymond's
offices, at Hollywood, lately occupied as a barrack, was burnt last night
(Monday) by White Boys."MORE OUTRAGES
Within the last few nights parties of ruffians visited several houses
between Clarina and Adare in this county. They flogged a farmer, named Lynch, at
Briskee; and the dwelling of Mr. C. Parker was attacked by an unarmed party, who
beat him for not sending out his servant to be flogged by them.
Monday night, John Frayley received a flogging, near Rathkeale, from a
party of ruffians. He was suspected of giving information.
At an early hour on Monday morning, a communication reached the
Police-office of Captain Drought, in his city, that at six o'clock on the
preceding evening, two men of his infantry corps, named Gunnell and Armstrong,
returning from Castle Connell to their quarters at Bird-hill, were attacked on
the Gouigg-road, and that the former was murdered, and the body supposed to have
been thrown into a bog-hole, as no trace could be found of it. At three o'clock,
however, a messenger arrived who stated that Gunnell has been found in the
corner of a ditch, at some distance from where the attack was made upon him; and
that, though wounded and stabbed in several parts of the body, he was likely to
recover. Various causes are assigned for this outrage; but as an inquiry is
about to take place, we abstain from noticing any of the rumours.
On Friday night, the Rev. Sir Wm. Reade, Bart, returning to his glebe at
Tomgrany, county Clare, was attempted to be assassinated by a fellow who darted
from behind a wall, and discharged a musket at him, the contents of which-two
balls-struck the opposite wall; and Sir William happily escaped by the fleetness
of his horse. This active Magistrate was after apprehending two men on
information and had given them in charge to be conveyed to Tomgrany bridewell.
Every exertion to apprehend the delinquent who fired was promptly made, but
On Saturday night some villains threw stones at Captain Middleton, 42d,
when visiting the guards near the Square.
Major Nicholson has lodged in Kilkenny gaol three brothers, named Ryan, for
murdering James Egan, at Hathlogan, on the 11th Sept.
A gang of robbers who broke into Captain Morgan's and Mr. Homan's houses,
on the Glanmire road, last week, have been apprehended by the High Constable of
Cork, after a desperate resistance.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News