Sep 9th

As I am in a hurry I will not include this week the usual recitation of my sheer greatness; check previous blogs.

From The Wexford Constitution the 3rd of March 1860:–

Wexford Spring Assizes.

“Michael Fitzgerald was indicted for that he on the 17th January at Bannow did kill and slay one Thomas Ouslam. Also his brother John was charging with aiding and abetting same.

The prisoners pleaded not guilty….

Counsellors Purcell and Davitts appeared on the part of the Crown and Counsellor Nunn for the prisoners.

Patrick Colfer sworn, deposed that he was at Keane’s public house on the 17th January, at the Moor of Bannow. He saw the prisoners and others there at the time; they got some drink, but I was not in the company; none of them were drunk; Gregory White ordered a quart of whiskey. This Ouslam came in whilst they were drinking; he sat by himself for some time; I went out for a short time and when I came back I saw Michael Fitzgerald make a kick at Ouslam, and then get up on a table; I prevented him from making a second kick; I caught him around the waist and Michael Walsh in giving us a shove, we both fell on the floor. I cannot say if the kick reached the deceased; I was taken up and brought into another room; heard Walsh saying there should be no row; I next saw John Power shoved out by the servant girl and he made a box at her; after prisoners went away I saw Ouslam lying on the floor dead.

Cross examined by Counsellor Nunn—I was at the house at one o’clock; before the Tintern men came in. I drank a glass of punch with Greg White; Ouslam is not a Tintern man but he treated the Tintern men to a quart of whiskey; he also treated Ouslam to a glass of punch; when I went out they were all in good humour but when I returned they were all up on their feet; could not say the kick Fitzgerald made at Ouslam reached him; they were all scrambling together.

Gregory White sworn, deposed—I was at Keane’s public house on the 17th January, at ten o’clock; no person was then there; I called in Pat Colfer when I saw him pass; passing the road; this was about one o’clock; a good many other persons came in after, amongst whom were the prisoners; did not know them previously; Ouslam came in a short time after these men; he sat down by himself as he was not one of the party; he had nothing drinking; the other men were not drunk; could not say how the quarrel commenced but Ouslam did not quarrel, as it was the prisoners quarrelled with him; first thing I saw Michael Fitzgerald leaping on the table and making a kick at Ouslam; cannot say if it struck him; he did not fall. Fitzgerald and Colfer fell off the table; after that I saw Fitzgerald run at Ouslam and said something about striking himself or his brother John; there was a general shoving and quarrelling and I got a few kicks; I heard sound of kicks off a man’s body, but can’t say who was kicked; can’t say who was kicked; can’t say who was making the attempts at kicking as I was the on the ground; the prisoners were engaged in the struggle.

Cross examined by Counsellor Nunn—I was in a good humour that day and am always so. I was drinking that day and the night before; I treated the men to a quart of whiskey and we drank that and more after; saw Fitzgerald on the table making a kick at Ouslam but did not see it strike him; they were all after that in a regular jumble together.

Michael Walsh sworn—I was in Keane’s pub on the 17th January; I saw Ouslam and the prisoner there that day; did not see the prisoner do anything to Ouslam. I saw Fitzgerald on the table with his foot raised and I caught hold of his leg; I don’t know why I did so; I believe it was because I thought he was going to kick Ouslam.

Cross-examined by Counsellor Nunn—I was not one of those who were rolling on the floor; I shoved Fitzgerald off the table; I did not see Fitzgerald strike Ouslam.

Johanna Keane sworn, deposed—My brother keeps a public house on the Moor of Bannow. On the 17th of January the prisoners were at the house about two o’clock; they were accompanied by some twelve others.; they went into  a room and called for drink; they were drinking for about an hour and a half before Ouslam came in and at that time there was no quarrelling going on; half an hour I heard quarrelling. When Ouslam asked for a drink I refused him but I did not think that he was drunk; first thing I heard was the breaking of a table and when I went in I saw or five or six men on the floor; I did not see the prisoners or Ouslam, in particular; some of the men were sitting at a table; I found a table put  across the door and when I thought to take it away, Power struck me and I had to leave the room; in a few minutes more they all left the house and I went up to the room and there I saw Ouslam lying on the left hand side of the room with his head against the wall; he was then dead; before that some of the men who were quarrelling had returned to the house again and forced open the door; I only knew Tom Walsh; they went up into the room where Ouslam was, and on returning said there was no one there; in a minute after I went up to the room.

Cross examined by Counsellor Nunn—Only saw them all jostling and fighting; could not say if at the time Ouslam was on the floor; or sitting; if he was sitting I think I would have seen him.

Doctor James Boyd sworn, deposed, I remember the evening of the 17th January when I saw Thomas Ouslam, he had a great number of wounds on his head.

His Lordship—Even if this man came by his death by blows, there is no evidence  against the prisoners. He then addressed the jury saying the case was one of those which too frequently occur. People go into a public house, drink till they get drunk; a quarrel ensues and a life is lost.

The jury found the prisoners not guilty.”

The affray at Keane’s public house was of a relatively frequent pattern; the sentences imposed were invariably lenient¸ to an astonishing degree. There may have been a political direction to the justices to keep the sentences as lenient as possible; in most of these cases, the presiding justice would express his incandescent abhorrence of these fights and then proceed to impose a sentence usually not exceeding a year and often much less. The Dublin Castle authorities in a century when they were seeking to rectify the imbalance against the Catholic community and integrate it into the prevailing political order may have feared that longer sentences would inflame public opinion—already not well disposed to the legal, penal and policing systems—without sufficient cause.

I opine that justice could not have been done for Thomas Ouslam—there was clearly a determination to harm him severely. He may not have been without fault: Johanna Keane refused to serve him and Michael Fitzgerald seems to have shouted that Ouslam had struck his brother. I am not convinced by the testimony of the witnesses that they did not see Fitzgerald connect his kick with Ouslam.

One expert on crime has written that in the 18th and first moiety of the 19th century men were given to impetuous violence; for no apparent reason, groups of men could erupt in violent conflict with each other. They may have seen their belligerence and violence as an expression of their masculinity. By 1850, the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Catholic clergy plus the effects of the National School system had brought this insane behaviour largely to an end.

The report of that case also carried accounts of two related trials:–

“There was another indictment against the prisoners and also Thomas Walsh, Michael Walsh, Walter Walsh and John Power, for causing a riot that day, with a  second account for an unlawful assembly.

All pleaded guilty except John Power.

Patrick Colfer sworn—depose he was at this public house on the 17th of January and saw twelve or thirteen other persons there on that day; saw all the prisoners there at the same time; they went into the parlour and Gregory White and I went up to them and joined them. I saw no fight only the kick Fitzgerald made at Ouslam. I saw some of these men after that leaving the house. Tom Walsh came back again and shoved in the hall-door; I strove to keep him out with Johanna Keane.

Cross examined by Counsellor Nunn.

No person was with Thomas Walsh.

His Lordship thought there should be some further evidence to prove the charge than that before him.

Johanna Keane sworn—deposed that she saw the prisoners in her brother’s house that day; only heard a row there; I then went into the parlour, where John Power struck me and I had to leave the room and in a short time after they left the house. There were three tables broken on that day. Thomas Walsh and others returned and forced their way in but left almost immediately. There were four panes of glass broken in the shop window but I cannot say who did it. Tom Walsh said he would take down the sign if I did not give him drink; he did throw it down after.

Cross examined by Counsellor Nunn.

They all went away peacefully but Power who struck me; I can’t say who broke the windows.

The reason why I shut the door and would not let Walsh in was because I was afraid.

Counsellor Nunn then addressed the jury on the part of the prisoners and under the direction of his Lordship, from whom they should take the law, there was no evidence before them to constitute a riot; his Lordship would tell them that to prove his charge, such should be a terror of the people. The learned Counsel then referred to the evidence adduced by the Crown to substantiate this riot case and said that in the whole course of his life he never heard such in  a court of justice. Probably as there was no record at this Assizes, it was an amusing thing to introduce. He submitted that there was there was no terror excited in the minds of the people. A young girl was only afraid of the prisoner, Power, who assaulted her, which was very unmanly indeed.

Counsellor Devitts—According to the Act of Parliament, if one of her Majesty’s subjects was caused terror, that was sufficient to cause a riot.

His Lordship said he was aware of that and in addressing the jury, pointed this out to them but stated that every petty quarrel was not to be considered as occasioning such terror. The learned judge then entered into  a resume of the evidence given and dwelt strongly on the fact of one of the men taking down the sign, forcing in the door and breaking the windows, which he deemed was evidence of a riot. The next question then was, were the prisoner fully identified as the persons who committed the same. Then came the question, were the other prisoners cognizant of the acts with these individually identified and countenancing this riot. Now if  the jury considered the other parties were about the house at the time Walsh and Power committed these acts, they were equally guilty. But although they might have been in the company of these two men, if they subsequently went away, they discountenanced the acts of those parties. Walsh had returned in the company of two others who, although they could not be identified, were equally guilty. As to the charge of assault to which Power had pleaded guilty, with that the jury should separately deal.

Michael Walsh was then indicted for assaulting John Fitzgerald on the evening of the 17th January, indicting severe bodily harm.

Counsellor Lowry defended the prisoner.

John Fitzgerald sworn, and examined by Counsellor Devitt’s, deposed: I was in Keane’s public house that day and on that evening I saw Michael Walsh with an iron bar in his hand; they were fighting at the time and on going between them Walsh struck me on the temple with this iron bar and when I came to I found myself at home. I was three weeks in bed and was attended by Dr Biggs. The iron bar is a belaying pin belonging to the wreck; my shoulder was put out of joint.

Cross-examined by Counsellor Lovett—I would not say that Walsh was striking my brother at the time I went between them. I saw his hand raise to strike my brother. I had not my hand raised when I ran up to Walsh.

William Gleeson sworn, and examined by Counsellor Purcell, deposed: I was at Keane’s public house on that day; on coming out of it I saw Michael Fitzgerald bleeding and Michael Walsh with this iron pin in his hand. I did not see him strike Michael Fitzgerald. I took the bar out of Walsh’s hand; John Fitzgerald then came up and commenced to fight; I endeavoured to put them up the road  ut they would not stop, so I left them. I had thrown the pin in the ditch. When next I saw John Fitzgerald he was bleeding from the temple.

Cross-examined—I heard Walsh warn John Fitzgerald not to come near him and showed him the bar. Fitzgerald, however, forced it on him. After Walsh left the bar out of his hand Fitzgerald still followed him.

Dr Biggs sworn, deposed that he attended John Fitzgerald and found a lacerated wound on the left temple, about a quarter of an inch in depth.

Michael Fitzgerald sworn, deposed that he was at Keane’s public house on that day, but he did not see Fitzgerald strike his broher.

Counsellor Lover then addressed the jury urging that John Fitzgerald was the person who struck his client, as they had heard, after the caution he received. The learned gentleman then called,

John Walsh sworn and examined by Counsellor Lover, deposed I was in company with the prisoner that day. After I left the house I saw Michael Walsh and Michael Fitzgerald fighting and I went between them and we fell in the ditch. I saw no blow struck as I was very tipsey.

Cross-examined by Counsellor Purcell—John Fitzgerald went home in the boat that night and I saw blood on him.

The jury found him guilty.

His Lordship then called the prisoners convicted of the riot to be called up. He told them a more deplorable instance of the effect of drunkenness never came under his notice. Those that were charged with homicide and manslaughter had a very narrow escape, but such was owing more to the law than any forbearance of theirs. There could be no doubt but they were morally guilty of the manslaughter of an unfortunate man who, it appeared was not in any way connected with them. Another man was nearly meeting a similar sudden death. Under these circumstances the court should feel it their duty to sentence them to that punishment which, to some extent, should mark their opinion of such acts. However it appeared that Thomas Walsh and John Power were more active in this riot than the other prisoners—there should be a difference in the judgement passed on them. The sentence of the court was that Thomas Walsh and Power be each imprisoned for six months with hard labour and the others for four months with hard labour. Michael Walsh, who was convicted of the assault on John Fitzgerald was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour—to commence at the expiration of the first sentence.”

The jury then retired and in a short time brought in a verdict of guilty.

From The Free Press, the 21st of October 1950:–

“Carrig-on-Bannow L. S. F.

A parade of ex members of Carrig-on-Bannow L. S. F. was held on Friday night of last week in the local St Mary’s Hall. The men were presented with over 80 medals and twenty service certificates by Inspector Coonan, Civic Guards, New Ross, Group Leader M. Lynch N. T. Carrig-on-Bannow and Sergeant Mullane were also present. Mr Thomas Crosbie, Bannow thanked the Inspector. He paid a special tribute to Guard O’Hara, Bannow, who had acted as drill inspector to the Group.”

From The Free Press the 21st of September 1887:–

“To be let for six months, pending redemption, the lands of Tullibards Great, containing 40 acres, more or less. Apply to—

Jonas King

28 Moyne Road, Rathmines, Dublin.”

From The People the 31st of August 1872:–

“To the Editor of the People

Sir—Residing in this seaside village for some time past, it has surprised me much that a neighbourhood of such wealth and importance should be destitute of direct communication with Wexford. At present, the mail for Wexford is first transmitted to New Ross, thus causing an inexcusable delay of four days before an answer can be recieived—though the distance is only fourteen miles. The people of Carrig-on-Bannow and the adjacent locality carry on no business whatsoever with New Ross; whilst on the other hand, Wexford is the market town for this and the surrounding parishes. Since the opening of the line between Dublin and Wexford there can be very little objection to a change in the Postal Regulations. In justice to the inhabitants of this part, it should take place at once, either by an extension of rural messengers, or the safer and more expeditious aid of a day car. The latter would be the most advisable, as the farmers are generally in first class circumstances, the gentry numerous and the number of people at all times trafficking between this place and Wexford, such as would most certainly render the project highly remunerative. The spirited traders of Carrig, who suffer the most inconvenience, should, at once, put their shoulders to the wheel and I am sure the gentry and farmers of the locality would cheerfully help on the movement by every means in their power—I am sir, yours faithfully

Progress

Cullinstown, August 27th 1872.”

From The Bannow and District notes in The People, the 24th of November 1953:–

“Outstanding Mangold Crops—One of the greatest crops of mangolds ever planted in Bannow district has been grown on the farm of the Missis Carew at Brandane. Several large pits have already been lifted and roots weighing up to 21 lbs each have been found in the field. It is estimated that the yield will be over 50 tons per statute acre.”

From the People the 22nd of July 1893:–

“The Pretty Little Convent of Grantstown

belonging to the Augustinians and of which the Very Rev. John Kehoe O. S. A., prior of Clonmines, superior. A new belfry of cut stone and a new bell have been erected over  the front gable of the church. Inside there are new confessional, pews, choir, gallery and other church furniture, all of pitch pine and en suite, the style of the church and furniture being Roman and similar to the confessionals in the Franciscan Church, Wexford. These were all executed by Mr Rochford, of Bannow and nothing more finished could be desired. The altars were made in Munich and are splendid specimens of art. A new sacristy has, also, been erected recently. The grounds surrounding the convent and church are most tastefully laid out and carefully tended.”

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