Cavan Observer
Published in Cavan, county Cavan

February 5, 1859


The weekly Petty Sessions of this town were held on Tuesday, the 1st instant.

John VEEVERS, Esq., R.M., presiding

Many of the cases entered were settled by pre-arrangement, so that the appearances were not so numerous as at other times.

Mr. KENNY v. Richard JOHNSON

This was a charge brought by Mr. KENNY, district road surveyor, against Richard JOHNSON, of Dunenna, for having cut away part of the public road. Mr. JOHNSON pleaded guilty--said he was not aware that he was injuring the road, and his Worship laid on a conditional fine of 10s. until the road shall have been repaired to the satisfaction of Mr. KENNY.


Mr. Ingram MITCHELL, of Pottle, was summoned by his late servant boy, Thomas CROZIER, of Bailieborough, for £1 1s. 2d. wages, alleged to be due but not paid. His Worship, after hearing the evidence, granted a decree for 18s., the amount found, on a more accurate calculation, to be due.

Poor Law Guardians v. Edward MORAN

The Master of the Bailieborough Workhouse appeared, as directed by the board, to prosecute Edward MORAN under the 1st and 2nd Vic., chap.--for having refused to support his father and thereby permitting him to become a burden on the ratepayers of the Union.

His Worship said it was quite clear that that act would compel the child, in every case where such child was able to do so, to support the parent, but that it would require two justices to be present.

The Master was directed to have the case brought forward again, when there would be more than one magistrate on the bench.

This was the last case on the books, and the court shortly afterwards adjourned.


On the 3rd instant, in this town, at an advanced age, Mrs. GANNON, deeply and deservedly regretted.

On the 31st January, at his residence, 38, Lower Leeson-street, Dublin, Benjamin Geale BRADY, Esq., of Mount Geale, county Kilkenny, in the 78th year of his age.


It is with feelings of the deepest regret that we announce the death, under the most melancholy circumstances, of the Hon. Henry HANDCOCK, youngest son of Lord Castlemaine. The particulars have not yet reached this country further than the sad tidings of his death while tiger hunting in India. The enraged animal it appears attacked him, and inflicted such bodily injuries that he lived but for an hour after his release from her fangs. Captain HANDCOCK was but 24 years of age; he had served with distinction with his regiment, the 44th, throughout the Crimean campaign, and had represented Athlone, his native town, in parliament during the session of 1856. At the time of his death he was attached to the staff of Lord HARRIS, Governor of Madras. The greatest sympathy is felt for his Lordship and Lady Castlemaine under this severe affliction, and universal regret is expressed at the untimely end of a young gentleman whose amiability and winning demeanour rendered him a favourite with everyone.--"Westmeath Independent."

February 12, 1859

CONVICTION FOR ATTEMPTING TO SET FIRE TO THE SOUTH DUBLIN UNION WORKHOUSE.--On Thursday three young girls, named Jane KANE, Mary KEELY, and Mary MAHER, who had been inmates of the South Dublin Union, were indicted in the Recorder's Court, for attempting to set fire to that establishment. It was proved in evidence that the prisoners, who had previously been several times in prison, were detected in the act of setting fire to their beds, and but for the discovery of the fire by the ward-mistress, the house would have burned, and perhaps lives lost. The Recorder sentenced the prisoners to be kept in penal servitude for three years.

MELANCHOLY DEATH BY DROWNING--On Thursday morning the 4th inst., the body of a man named WEIR was found in the mill-race of Tullyvin Mills. An inquest was held before John M'FADIN, Esq., Cootehill, one of the coroners of this county, when it appeared that deceased, who had lived with a gentleman in the neighbourhood of Monaghan, had left his employment, and was on his way to engage with James BOYLE, Esq., Retreat, when owing to the darkness of the night, he missed the path and stumbled into the mill-race. Deceased bore an excellent character.


Thomas BLACK was arraigned before Baron RICHARDS and Mr. Justice BALL for the murder of his wife, in Dean-street, Dublin, on the night of the 8th of January.

The particulars have been all give at length in the OBSERVER. It will be recollected that BLACK, who was a painter, had been out shopping in Dublin with his wife on a Saturday evening, and that, on returning to his lodgings, he sent his son out of the room, whereupon he beat his wife, and then stabbed her in the side. She died almost immediately it is supposed; but this is uncertain, as the murder was not found out till the next day. He remained in the room with the dead body all night, went out in the morning, got shaved in a barber's shop, and in three or four days after gave himself up to the police. Jealously of his wife was supposed to be the motive for the commission of the crime, and the man had contracted a habit of drunkenness. The trial took place yesterday, and, to the astonishment of many in court, the jury found the mitigated verdict of manslaughter. Sentence was deferred.

February 19, 1859

FATAL ACCIDENT IN DUBLIN BAY--Between three and four o'clock on Monday evening four men, named Pat M'LOUGHLIN, Matthew SHANNON, George SHANNON, and Henry SHANNON--three brothers and brothers-in-law, proceeded in a small boat down the bay of Dublin for the purpose of boarding a vessel expected to arrive by the up-tide. After passing the Poolbeg Light a heavy squall struck the boat and upset, when, we regret to say, the two men first named above perished. The two others clung to the boat and oars, and were picked up by a tug steamer coming up towards the river. Strangely enough one of the men rescued was one of the most helpless of the crew, having a wooden leg. The bodies of the two drowned men have not been yet found.


Magistrates present--W. Babington, Esq., Capt. Carden, N. Montgomery, Esq., and R. Erskine, Esq.

Several parties were summoned for having allowed their dogs to go about unlogged, and were fined in sums varying from 1s. to 2s. 6d. and costs.


Susan MASTERSON, a pauper in the Cavan Workhouse, was charged with having on Friday last, broken several panes of glass in the Workhouse windows,and assaulting the master.

Mr. MULLIGAN, the master, on being sworn, stated that the prisoner had been, for a considerable time, an inmate of the Workhouse, and had on several occasions grossly misconducted herself, by abusing and striking the other paupers; he had prosecuted her on more than one occasion for these offences, and she had been imprisoned...On being asked by the bench what reply she could make to the charge, the prisoner stated that Mr. MULLIGAN had a 'crab" against her, and that he was always annoying and interfering with her; that on Friday evening he "choked" her, and that she broke the glass because she could get no other satisfaction....

The Bench sentenced her to one month's imprisonment with hard labour, and she was removed in custody, expressing her opinion, in suppressed mutterings that "people should not be interfered with and choked."


Constable CONN summoned Mr. Philip REILLY, hotel-keeper, Ballyjamesduff, for having, on Friday last, driven a horse and car through the Main street of Cavan in a furious manner, so as to cause considerable danger to persons passing at the time.

The defendant did not appear; and after hearing the constable's statement, their Worships imposed a fine of 20s. and costs.

There being no other cases for hearing, the Court adjourned.


February 15th, at his residence, in Farnham-street, Cavan, after a long and painful illness, Charles HALPIN, Esq., M.D. Much and deservedly regretted. Steadfastly trusting the merits of his Redeemer, his end was peace!

February 13, at Marine-terrace, Kingstown, Frances Anne, the eldest daughter of the Rev. George H. READE, Inniskeen, Glebe, county Monaghan.

February 26, 1859


(Before W. Babington, Esq., J.P., N. Montgomery, Esq., J.P., and R. M. Hickson, R.M.)

The first case was that of


This was a case brought by the wife of complainant against the defendant for a few shillings due to her for washing. The defendant not appearing, a decree was given for the amount claimed.


This was a charge preferred by a man named ARMSTRONG against his servant, Honora KEELY, who, he alleged, had left her employment before her lawful time of agreement had expired, without any notice or just cause. He also preferred a charge against a man named Robert LYTTLE for having illegally induced her to leave the employment of plaintiff, and enter into his own, knowing that she was under an engagement to plaintiff.

Mr. John ARMSTRONG, who appeared for the plaintiff, stated that this was a case of almost daily occurrence, and a very important one, as tending to establish the true relationship between master servant. He said it was quite a common thing for a farmer to engage a servant at a certain wages, and for a certain term, and equally common for servants as soon as they fancied they could better themselves, to leave their employment, and go to another without giving any notice to the person with whom they had previously engaged. He said he thought the present case one in which their Worships should inflict such punishment as would prevent the occurrence of these offences.

James ARMSTRONG, the plaintiff, was then examined and deposed that he employed Honora KEELY on the 23rd of May last, and re-engaged her in November till February 8th in this year, that the other defendant, Robert LYTTLE, took her away in his own car; that he got her, on the same day, drinking in a public-house with LYTTLE, and that he believed she had been engaged as a servant by him, as she was afterwards found in his house.

Honora KEELY (who, as Mr. Babington stated, could not be examined on oath in a case in which she was charged with a criminal offence) stated that she was in bad health at the time, and only went to LYTTLE's house because she knew that both LYTTLE and his wife would take care of her; that she had no intention of leaving her employment; that she had a tumour under her arm and was unable to work.

Mr. Armstrong inquired how it was that if she had been unwell at the time, none of the Cavan doctors could cure her.

Defendant stated that she had been under the care of Cavan doctors some three years ago, when she had a sore foot, but they had done her no good; that she had then consulted Dr. REILLY, of Clones, who cured her, and that, consequently, she had more confidence in him.

A certificate from Dr. REILLY stating that the girl was afflicted with a chronic tumour under her arm was then handed up, and read by the Bench.....

The Bench inquired if defendant had any question to ask of the complainant.

Defendant asked him if she had not told him that she was ill a few days before she left his employment.

Armstrong said that she had, but that he did not think she was seriously indisposed. He gave her a high character as a servant, and said he was sure would not have left him but for the other defendant (LYTTLE) giving her bad advice.

LYTTLE said that he had not done so and that he had witnesses to prove that it was not on his car, but on a hired one she went from plaintiff's house with him, and that she was not engaged by, or working for him, as a servant since....

The Bench, having consulted, asked the girl if she was willing to return to her employment.

Defendant said she was willing to do so, and to work, as long as her health permitted.

Mr. Babington asked Armstrong if he was willing to take her back.

Complainant said he had no objection to do so, provided he was paid his costs and loss of time.

It was then decided that the girl should return to her work, and that plaintiff should be at liberty to deduct from the wages due to her his costs, loss of time, and an equivalent for the time she had been absent from his employment.

The case against Lyttle was then gone into, and Mr. Armstrong stated that he was liable to the same penalties as the female defendant for inducing her to leave her employment.

The Bench were, however, of opinion that sufficient evidence had not been produced to warrant them in coming to the conclusion that the girl had been enticed away by Armstrong, and retained in his employment.. He was, therefore, acquitted.

The parties them left the Court.

Several cases of minor importance, which the pressure of space compels us to exclude, were then brought up for hearing, after which the court adjourned.


On Wednesday, 24th inst., at his residence, Erne Hill, Belturbet, George Marshall KNIPE, Esq., after a painful illness at a very advanced age.

Sir John NUGENT, Bart., died on the 16th instant, at his seat, Ballinlough castle, county Westmeath, in the 58th year of his age. He was formerly major in the Austrian service, count of the Holy Roman Empire, and chamberlain to the late Emperor of Austria.

February 18, at Nutfield, County Fermanagh, Mary, relict of the late B. SEYMOUR, Esq., of Dublin, aged 78 years.

February 16, in Monaghan, Matilda, the beloved wife of Dr. Charles COOTE.

FATAL ACCIDENT--On Friday, the 18th inst., whilst a poor man, named James M'[CABE, was making some repairs on the roof of his house, at Newmills, in this county, a portion of the side wall of the house gave way, and, falling on him, precipitated him to the ground, inflicting such severe injuries that he died in the infirmary on the following day (Saturday).


The Lord Chief Justice opened the Commission at Trim, on Wednesday, the 23rd inst., at one o'clock, when the grant jury were re-sworn.

His lordship, addressing the jury, said the calendar was light, there being but eight cases for trial. With respect to the crimes, there was but one to which he would draw their attention as at all affecting the general tranquility of the county and that was a Whiteboy offence. If the facts stated in the informations be established in the evidence, undoubtedly they constituted a Whiteboy offence, but he was happy to think the case occurred so long ago as the month of July, and so far as the calendar could speak there had not been any repetition of the offence. The next case upon the calendar was a committal upon suspicion, and, upon inquiry, he understood it would turn out merely a case of suspicion. Then there came a case of assault, next a burglary and a robbery. In the latter case the prisoner confessed the crime of burglary, and returned the stolen property. There was, however, one case, which he regretted to say, presented a very serious aspect--namely, a case of child murder, but upon the whole, the county, as indicated by the calendar, was in a state of tranquility.

John FLYNN was arraigned on a charge of being one of a party, who, upon the 10th of July, 1858, at Baskenagh, assaulted the habitation of Laurence M'DANIEL.

The person by whom the prosecution was supported was the wife of Laurence M'DANIEL. Her evidence was to the effect that she and her husband were in bed when three men, with handkerchiefs upon their heads came to the house; the prisoner was at sme distance from the house, and she did not see him do anything.

The jury acquitted the prisoner.

The Crown counsel, Sergeant BERWICK, Mr. BLAND, Q.C., M.P., and Mr. GRIFFITH appeared for the prosecution.

The other cases on the calendar are as follows:

Matthew CARTY for unlawfully and maliciously assaulting Thomas TAFFE at Balinter, on the 3rd of October, 1858.

Mary SMITH, for assaulting Mary CONNELLY and others on the 29th of September, 1858, received six months' penal servitude.

John GAMMELL, for robbing Matthew NELOW.

John M'DONOUGH, for passing base coin. Acquitted.

Mary BRADY, for the murder of her child.

John PHELAN, Christopher M'KEON, and others, for uttering a forged cheque (15l.), purporting to have been signed by Edward M'EVOY.

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