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!! Connaught Journal; Sep 6, 1824 "Kilkenny Assizes"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2005
      Galway, September 6, 1824

      For Assaulting THOMAS NOWLAN, &c., &c.
      The case having been called on and the Jury sworn -

      Thomas Nowlan examined by Mr. Fox.
      Witness lives in Johnstown; is Sub-Constable in the Police; recollects
      having been in Kilkenny about the 4th or 5th of May last; was in Edward Flood's
      house, Back-lane; went to lodge there; knows James Hely and James Mulhall; saw
      them both at Flood's on the night of the day aforesaid; when preparing to go to
      bed, he was knocked down by Hely; the latter asked witness was it the toast he
      gave at the public-house that made him quit it. - [The Judge asked witness had
      he been at a public-house previously?]- he said he had; believes it was Clear's
      house; he can swear what the toast was; the toast which Hely gave was ," God
      blast all the Protestants, Orangemen, and Policemen in the Country out of it."
      Witness was not in his uniform that night; Hely asked him was it that toast made
      him leave the public-house; and he struck witness with some weapon, a gongs or
      poker; witness put his hand in his pocket and pulled out his pistol; before
      using it he was knocked down, and remained some time weak on the floor; upon
      rising Hely snapped the pistol at him; Edward Flood said, the villain (meaning
      witness) is dead, and leaped on him; they said they would bury witness in a
      cabbage garden; they went out of the kitchen up stairs; witness thought to get
      away but the door being fastened by a check-chain he could not get off; Flood
      came down stairs soon after, and witness asked him why he should have been so
      treated; Flood went with witness to the gaol, and called out the guard and got
      assistance to take the prisoners; he lodged examination against the parties
      before Major Kingsmill.

      Cross-examined by Mr. Costello, as anicus curiae.
      The attack on him occurred at Mr. Flood's, Back-lane; cannot say if Flood's
      be in the middle of Kilkenny; he swore against Flood between 11 and 12 o'clock
      next day; Flood keeps a lodging house; witness was sitting in Flood's with Hely
      and Mulhall; don't recollect to have heard the prisoner's talking at Flood's of
      any particular thing; did not hear them speaking of Lord Byron or Mr. Moore the
      poet, &c.; did not contradict them with respect to any of these names; his
      pistol fell out of his hand when he was knocked down; it was positively after
      receiving the first blow he drew the pistol out of his pocket; he did not see
      Mulhall blowing the powder out of the pan; he saw Mulhall put back the pan; Hely
      snapped the pistol at him first; can't tell if it was with the tongs or poker he
      was struck; he had not his uniform on that night, or for 12 months before it; he
      swore also against Mr. Flood *; he swears positively that Flood leaped on him;
      he knows it was either Hely or Mulhall proposed burying him; he don't know
      which; he supposes Mr. Flood heard them; examinations were sworn by him about
      twelve or one o'clock next day; he had to wait until the Mayor returned to his
      office; he did not say he would have shot some of them only he was knocked down;
      he swore against prisoners and Mr. Flood next day; he was senseless for some
      time after having been knocked down; it was when down that he was fired at; was
      senseless for about two minutes; when he recovered he saw them snap the pistol
      at him; as near as he could judge he was about two minutes senseless; there were
      only the three and himself in the house, except Flood's wife and niece, who
      were, he believes, in bed; he was bleeding; Mr. Reade and Mr. Williams knew he
      was all bloody; he can't say if any others of the Police go in coloured clothes;
      he never did any of the public duties which other Policemen do. Being asked for
      what duties then does he receive pay? witness said he was obliged to go
      according to the orders of his superior officers, Serjeant-Major _____ and
      Captain K_____; they ordered him not to wear uniform. He was in Kilkenny at the
      Sessions and Assizes before the time he was attacked.
      In answer to a question by the JUDGE. - It is a matter of police regulation
      to him not to wear uniform.
      It was at Flood's that he first saw Hely; he did see him at Flood's the
      Assizes before the last.
      Mr. Costelloe asked his Lordship, might he ask witness if he earned his
      bread as a common spy? His Lordship dissented. After he quieted the guard that
      night, he went to Reade.
      By the JUDGE - Mulhall took away the witness's pistol that night; he did
      not see it again; he charged the pistol the evening of the day on which he was
      attacked; it was a square-barrelled piece, and took a carbine ball.
      In answer to a question from a Juror - Witness answered, he had not
      particular motive for having been armed that night; he always carried a pistol.

      Examined by the Prisoner, Mely.
      Had no conversation of a particular nature with Hely at the house of Mr.
      Flood, but what he stated; it was Hely asked witness to go out with him to
      drink; witness heard him at a public house speak of a General M'Carthy; he did
      not say that his wife inquired for prisoner at Johnstown; he swears it was
      prisoner pressed him to go drink and not be them; his feelings were not
      irritated when querist asked him to pay his part of the reckoning; he drank no
      liquor at the public-house but beer.
      The witness being about to withdraw, he was called back and further
      interrogated by the Judge - He attended here during the Assizes; he was in the
      other Court on Saturday +; Mr. Williams did tell him he was called. And why,
      said his Lordship, did you not come forward, the Grand Jury wanting you? He said
      he waited for his superior officer's orders.
      Mr. Costelloe asked him, did Mr. Williams desire him to attend? He said, he
      did not.
      The JUDGE said, it was the prisoner's (Hely) desire to go to trial made him
      anxious to have witness appear.
      James Reade, who remained on the table for some time, was next examined by Mr.
      Nowlan called on him about thre or four o'clock on the morning of the
      alleged attack, and complained of some men who cut him. Witness told him he
      could lodge examinations at eleven or twelve o'clock the next day. Witness went
      with him to Flood's at whose door, which was locked, he remained for a short
      time; he brought soldiers with him. Flood, Reade, and the soldiers went up
      stairs; the former opened the door of the room in which Hely slept; the latter
      was surprised, and asked had witness a warrant against him. Witness went into
      Mulhall's room and found a pistol, (it was a small pistol, and produced in
      Court,) under Mulhall's head. Nowlan did not complain of Flood that night; there
      was blood on Nowlan's head.

      Cross-examined by Mr. Costelloe.
      Flood came with witness and Nowlan to the Mayor's office; Nowlan at that
      time made no complaint against Flood, but said, "Only for that man, (meaning
      Flood, they would have killed me!" Nowlan told witness, that only the prisoners
      had knocked him down, he would have shot one of them; Nowlan said he did not
      know any of them before.
      His LORDSHIP asked Reade did he show the pistol to Nowlan? he said he did,
      but would not give it to him, though Nowlan asked for it.

      Edward Flood examined by Mr. Costelloe.
      Resides in King-street, (or Back-lane), recollects that night Nowlan was in
      his house with Healy and Mulhall; recollects the conversation they had; it was
      about Shakspeare, Byron and Moore. Hely was about three weeks lodging iwth
      witness; he believes Hely is a poet, or a writer, and was getting gentlemen to
      subscribe for a work of his. Nowlan did join in the conversation about
      Shakspeare; Nowlan had his own opinion and could not bear contradiction; he got
      into a passion for being contradicted, and told Mulhall he did not like it; this
      was the subject of their conversation, and it was on this conversation the
      difference took place. Nowlan immediately after said - "Mulhall, you don't like
      me - take care, I have fire-arms;" he immediately rushed at Mulhall and Hely,
      who was airing a night cap at the fire, seized both pistols and Nowlan pulled
      him into the kitchen and in the scruff Nowlan fell down and cut his head by
      falling against a form; he was not struck with either tongs, poker or with the
      hand, and received no personal injury but the fall. Witness thinks it was the
      left side of the head was cut. - Witness did not use any violent language
      against Nowlan, nor did he leap on him. Witness went out with Nowlan to get his
      head dressed; he swore against witness next day. Hely seized the pistol from
      Nowlan, gave it to Mulhall, who examined it, and finding it was primed and
      loaded, blew the priming out of the pan; Mulhall afterwards put the pistol in
      his pocket, and said he would give it to a Magistrate. Nowlan wanted to get back
      the pistol but Mulhall and Hely said they would give it up to a Magistrate next
      morning. Witness did not hear, nor did he himself make any proposal to bury
      Nowlan in the garden; Nowlan did swear against Flood at the time he swore
      against the others. Witness was taken and committed, but gave his bail; he was
      26 hours in gaol before bill was received; he knows Mulhall, who is a hatter and
      works with Mr. Powell.
      By a Juror - It was Nowlan brought the three out to drink; witness asked
      him to go to bed, and not to go out; they had two tumblers of whiskey and water
      each; Nowlan drank, besides the two tumblers of whiskey and water, a pint of ale
      in addition.

      Cross-examined by Mr. Fox.
      The three drank with the Policeman; witness did not know him to be a
      Policeman; Hely and Nowlan both fell together; Nowlan's head touched the form;
      Hely's did not; Nowlan was not struck that night by witness or the others;
      witness heard Nowlan say to Reade, the Constable, that he was struck by witness,
      which the latter denied at that time.

      James Reade re-examined by Mr. Fox.
      Witness does not recollect whether Flood desired that Nowlan was struck; he
      paid most attention to Nowlan, he being the complaining party; when the Police
      went to Flood's to take Mulhall and Hely, Flood did not then say that it was
      Mulhall and Hely made the attack on Nowlan.

      William Williams, High Constable, examined by Mr. Costelloe.
      Witness told Nowlan to attend the Court, and said to him, that he must have
      heard himself called - but Nowlan said he would not attend till he saw Major
      The prosecution here closed.

      The JUDGE charged briefly, commenting on each material circumstance, and
      desiring the Jury, if they believed Nowlan, to find the prisoners guilty; but,
      on the contrary, if they believed Flood, to acquit them.
      The Jury, without leaving the box, acquitted both the prisoners.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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