London, Middlesex, England
August 13, 1835
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
Dublin, Aug. 10
GALWAY ASSIZES- Crown Court, Thursday.
Michael Ryan and Thomas Collins were placed at the bar,
charged with the wilful murder of Honora Ryan.
Patrick Hession was the first witness sworn- Was in the
service of Mr. Killikelly as a shepherd. Recollects the 2d or 3d of February. It
was on the night of Monday. Met a woman's cloak. Took it up and brought it home.
Went in the same direction again. Saw blood on the cloak
John Atkinson, the son of Chief Constable sworn.- On
the morning of Tuesday went out on a search three-fourths of a mile from
Dunmore. Saw a man with a bundle of clothes, a cloak and a gown. There was blood
on the gown. Saw them with Patrick Sweeny. Gave them to the policeman. On
searching saw a human body in the river. Its head was cut off. Found the head 12
yards above the body, lying in the centre of the river; took it up by the hair,
and upon examination found a head fitted to the body; the neck was shrunk and
would not fit; knows it to be the body of the woman; found a small pair of
shoes; saw the blood 13 or 14 yards from the river; the ground was wet with it;
it appeared in three several places opposite to where he found the body; saw
wool between the teeth; was present when the remains were recognized by the wife
of one of the prisoners; this was on Tuesday; the coroner was sent for, and
swore the jury in the evening of that day; saw a dark gray cloak.
Felix M'Donnell sworn and examined.- Lives at Park, in
this county; knows the prisoners; one of them lived in his service; knows the
other; lives half a mile from him; knew Honora Ryan; saw her the last time in
January last; saw her dead on Thursday, the 5th of February, in Dunmore; went to
Dunmore; by chance went into where the remains lay; instantly recognized the
remains to be the remain of those of Honora Ryan; did not observe the head;
recognized the features and the gown she wore; she was a married woman, the wife
of Michael Ryan, the prisoner; came to my house to visit her husband; came more
than once; remained not more than an hour to my knowledge; saw Ryan next
morning; Ryan came up to me at Blake's door, two miles from Dunmore; saw him at
the inquest; brought him in to Dunmore; Ryan saw the remains at Dunmore; he
thought it was his wife; I had no doubt, and thought he should have much less;
he then said it was; Ryan said he did not see her for three weeks, but
afterwards acknowledged to have seen her within 10 days; he refused to come to
Dunmore; I brought him in; cautioned him not to tell me anything that would
condemn himself; he said the rest of the servants were out, but that he was
within that night; used to sleep with Thomas Kelly and Pat Walsh; wore a stable
jacked purchased by me; the distance was five miles from where the body was
found to my house; gave up Ryan to the police; Mr. Birmingham, the magistrate,
came to me, and we found Collins and his wife there; went to the inquest; the
police arrested Collins and the rest of my servants; called in prisoners one by
one; Collins begged of me to let him go; told him that I could not; Ryan and his
wife lived on bad terms; told me he never would live with her; he wished she was
dead and damned; that he was compelled to marry her; visited Ryan yesterday;
remained a quarter of an hour; paid him three visits; got 10l. and the expenses
of witness; is not an embryo magistrate; knew her head; knew her gown;
recognized her instantly; told him yesterday he ought to call in a clergyman;
Ryan sent for me each time; Kelly is in my service; Walsh is not; examined her
accurately; saw gloves and a hair-band.
The other evidence was confirmatory.
Mr. Hosty, the coroner, sworn-[ The Crown Counsel
handed in as evidence the declarations of Ryan, the prisoner, to which Mr.
Fallon, the prisoner's counsel, objected. After a long argument the Judge said,
thought he had an opinion of its admissibility, he would yet wish to consult
with his brother Crampton.] Received the declarations from Mr. Tulley; duly
precautioned the prisoner against saying anything that would tend to criminate
himself; read them over for the prisoner; he acknowledged that they were all
right; the prisoner signed them in witness's presence; he (witness) and other
gentlemen then subscribed their names to this voluntary confession; the
prisoner's declaration was read; he acknowledged his guilt; it also affected the
other prisoner; Collins denied the truth of it, upon which Ryan said, "You
can't deny the fact, as I never would commit the deed were it not at your
instigation." Collins persisted in his denial.
A long discussion took place between counsel on both
sides. The Judge said he would take care that it should not be considered
conclusive. The Judge then asked the prisoners if they wished anything to say
anything, as the Court and Jury were ready to hear them.
Ryan said he knew not what he was about when he made
that confession; that he was taken in by the gentlemen.
Collins, the other prisoner, strongly before God
protested his innocence.
After a long charge from the Judge, the Jury retired,
and after remaining some time in the room returned with a verdict of Guilty. At
the announcement of the verdict the wretched prisoners seemed unconscious of
their fate, particularly the old man Collins. At this moment his Lordship, who
seemed greatly affected, proceeded to pass sentence of death on them, which he
did in so feeling a manner that he scarcely left a dry eye in court. They
were ordered for execution on Saturday (this day.)
EXECUTION OF MEENY AND M'DERMOTT FOR THE MURDER OF THE POLICEMAN.
On Thursday last, at an early hour,
vast crowds were hurrying from every direction to witness this truly feeling
exhibition, and at about 2 o'clock there could not be less than from 5,000 to
6,000 people present; indeed, from the Court-house to the gaol was one moving
mass of human beings, and every other quarter that could afford a view was
equally thronged. After the clergyman had given them some religious consolation,
they shook hands with each of them and retired, shortly after which the fatal
drop gave way, and both were in a few moments hurried into eternity.