London, Middlesex, England
June 7, 1831
CLARE SPECIAL COMMISSION
ENNIS, Thursday, June 2 - The Judges, Mr. Justice Moore and Mr. Justice Webb,
were escorted from Limerick, on Wednesday, to Newmarket-on-Fergus, by a strong
party of military and police. At Newmarket they were met by George Studdert,
Esq., the High Sheriff of the county; Robert Green, Esq., the Sub-Sheriff; and a
party of the 17th Lancers.
This morning, soon after ten o'clock, the Judges came
into court, which was completely filled by the gentry of the county.
After the commission had been read by the Clerk of the
Crown, the Grand Jury was sworn; W.N. McNamara, Esq., M.P., was the foreman.
ADMINISTERING UNLAWFUL OATHS - Michael MacNamara, John
Neylan, John Donohoe, Patrick Ross, Patrick O'Connor, Patrick Quin, James Neylan,
James Quin, Michael Magee, John Clanchy, James Quin the younger, James Roche,
James Linnane and Patrick Hynes, were indicted for having, on the 31st of March
last, feloniously administered to the Rev. Oliver Grace, at Kilkeady, an
unlawful oath, to the effect that he would quit and give up his lands and
premises the following day. They were charged in a second indictment with
administering an unlawful oath to one Nicholas Robinson. To both indictments the
prisoners plead not guilty.
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL stated the case for the Crown, as
it was detailed in evidence; remarking, that the Government, for reasons it was
not necessary to explain, had abandoned the capital charge, and indicted the
prisoners for a high misdemeanor, under the statute.
The Rev. Oliver Grace.- I resided on the 30th of March
at Glebe House of Kilkeady; on the night my son awoke me. Two men came up to my
room and forced me downstairs. My son and son-in-law were both below stairs and
about 20 persons in the hall. On that night I was sworn to give up my glebe and
glebe-house at 12 o'clock the next day. I remonstrated with them, and said the
glebe must remain in the hands of a clergyman. That would not do, and they put
me on my knees and I took the oath. There was no candle, but the night was very
Mr. Thomas Grace, son of last witness, identified
M'Namara, O'Connor, Donohoe, Magee, Roche, and Neylans, the Quins, Lennan,
Hayes, who had a gun, and Clanchy, as having all been in the house. They were
Cross-examined by Mr. O'CONNELL - I have been in
custody since this business. I was in custody once before. I was taken up by Mr.
Brew for lending a gun. Was not accused of borrowing one. My father never
accused me of striking or robbing him. I have been often in public-houses, and
have pledged my clothes for whisky there. I never was charged with robbing an
inn or stealing bacon. This witness was severely cross-examined, but nothing was
[?] that shook his direct testimony.
Mr. David Blake examined by Mr. O'CONNELL - I have
known Mr. T. Grace for 7 years, and from his general character I do not think he
is worthy of belief on oath in a court of justice. He is notorious in the
neighbourhood in which he lives.
Mr. Henry M'Cook gave similar testimony.
All the prisoners got good characters up to this affair
from Mr. P. Blake, M. T. O'Brien, Mr. E. Moran, C.H. Baggot and the Rev. Mr.
Mr. Justice JEBB charged the jury, and recapitulated
the evidence at some length.
The Jury retired for a short time and brought in a
verdict of Guilty against all the prisoners on both indictments.
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL prayed for immediate judgment of
the Court, and said, with a view to the present condition of the country, and
the necessity of an immediate and summary example being made, arrangements had
been entered into for the immediate removal of the prisoners pursuant, if such a
course should seem meet to their lordships.
Mr. JUSTICE JEBB immediately sentenced the prisoners to
transportation for life. They heard their doom with the utmost unconcern, and
were removed. The Court adjourned.