!! Ballina Chronicle; March 13, 1850 "Ennis Assizes"
- BALLINA CHRONICLE
Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, March 13, 1850
John Sheedy M'Namara was charged with a highway robbery, on the 11th of
last month. The prisoner, with other men, had stopped the bread cart of the
Scariff Union workhouse, and had taken from the driver with violence some bread.
The poor man had been very destitute, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 14
Patrick Reynolds was indicted for the wilful murder of Michael Cleary, a
bailiff in charge of distress, by striking him with a stone, on the 18th
September, 1849, at Laminish. An excellent character was given to the prisoner
by Mr. Marcus Keane, his landlord, and Mr. Whitehouse, one of the county
coroners, and the jury acquitted him.
John Skeahan, an approver, deposed that he had been a servant in the employ
of James Maloney, father to the prisoner, John Moloney; and that on the evening
in question, John Maloney came to him in the haggard, and desired him to go up
to an iron gate at some distance, and wait for him there. He did as he was told,
and Maloney came to him accompanied by Skeahan the prisoner. They said they only
wanted to frighten Martin Kealey, and that they would shoot Skeahan if he did
not go along with them. Accordingly, he accompanied them to within a short
distance of Kealey's house, when Skeahan and he stopped, and Malony went in, and
in a short time came out, and told Skeahan "all was right." He then returned to
the house, and witness and John Skeahan approached the window near the hall
door, Skeahan looked in, and fired off the gun, which had been loaded by him and
Moloney with four or five balls, through the window, at a man who was inside,
after which he changed caps with the witness and ran away towards Killaloe, and
witness went home and threw the cap Skeahan gave him over a wall on his way;
Malony remained inside Kealy's house.
Mr. O'Hea cross examined the witness at considerable length as to his
Martin Kealy, brother to the deceased proved that he was sitting at his
supper with his brother upon the night in question, when he observed the face of
a man at the window, and before he had time to lay down the mug a shot was fired
through the window which passed close to him, and shot his brother. Witness
jumped up, took a reaping hook off a shelf with him and ran out to the kitchen
where he found John Malony fastening the door to prevent anyone from going out;
he got out however, and rode off towards O'Brien's-bridge for the priest; when
he had got a short way he heard a man running though some water and having rode
up to him, he at once recognized him as the person whom he saw at the window,
and whom he believed to be the murderer; the moment he saw him he jumped off the
horse, and caught him, but after a severe struggle the man was enabled to effect
his escape; that man was the prisoner John Skehan.
Mr. O'Hea addressed the jury for the defence, and contended that although a
strong case of suspicion might have been made, there was not enough proved to
satisfy a jury as to the prisoner's guilt.
Judge Jackson charged the jury, who in about half an hour returned a
verdict of acquittal.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News