Inquest at Caragh, Co. Kildare, 1845

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The inquest on the body of Donelly was held on Friday last, in the school house of Caragh – belonging to the Rev. Thomas Tierney, P.P., who kindly gave the use of it for this occasion – before Thomas Harrisson, Esq., Coroner,  J. Dopping, Esq., was also present. Several witnesses were examined with great acuteness by the Rev. Mr. Tierney, – who evinced the greatest anxiety to bring this dreadful deed to light – and by Mr. Dopping ; but we regret to say that no testimony whatever could be obtained to lead to the knowledge of the guilty parties.

The first witness examined was John Losty, who knew nothing more of the transaction than that he saw deceased for a few minuets shortly before he was murdered, and had a conversation with him. Anne M’Gowan and Anne Ennis, the persons who were in company with the deceased when he was attacked (but who were not relatives as stated in last week’s ‘Express’) were the next witnesses examined. They deposed that they joined company with the deceased on the evening in question , and that on coming near the village of Caragh, two men dressed in black, who lay in wait, leaped from behind the ditch, and proceeded to attack deceased who defended himself with a crutch which he was in habit of using, having been afflicted with lameness ; one of the men exclaimed to the other “d…n you, why don’t you drive it though him?” on which a pistol was discharged at deceased. The two women immediately alarmed the neighbourhood, but no traces of the murderers could be discovered. Both witnesses prevaricated very much in their testimony and both persevered in denying all knowledge of the murderers. Bridget Donelly, wife of the deceased and other relatives, who, it appears lived on bad terms with each other, were minutely examined, but they all persisted in saying they knew nothing of the transaction. Dr. Walsh, Naas, deposed that he had examined the body, and that his death had been caused by gun-shot wound through the organs of the eyes, causing a fracture of the skull. Mr. Currin of Naas also gave similar testimony. After a patient enquiry of several hours, the jury found a verdict of “willful murder against some persons unknown. Thus this deed of darkness remains at present in obscurity. But, we trust it will not be long until it is brought to light.

Taken from:
The King’s Co. Chronicle
Vol. 1 No. 3
Wednesday, Oct 6th, 1845

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