Ireland Old News
March 9, 1837
The assizes for the county of Cavan commenced on Friday, before Mr. Justice Moore, who, in addressing the grand jury, remarked upon the number of party cases in the calendar, and enforced the necessity of investigating all the circumstances connected with them, with the utmost care and calmness.
There are three murder cases for trial, two of which were tried at former assizes, but the juries were discharged without agreeing to a verdict. The third case has arisen out of the affray at Ballyjamesduff, for which there are 11 persons in custody. The Solicitor-General had arrived to conduct the prosecution in this case, which was fixed for this day (Monday), but it was considered likely that the trial would be postponed until next assizes. There are on the calendar not less than eight cases of female violation.
On Saturday Thomas Henderson (described as an Orangeman) was tried for an assault on Francis Kiernan. This trial occupied most of the day. The prisoner was acquitted.
Andrew Smith was capitally indicted for the abduction of Catherine Ferrally. He was found guilty, but recommended to mercy.
March 13, 1837
COUNTY OF CAVAN - AFFRAY AT BALLYJAMESDUFF.
The trial of the persons charged with the murder of John Carr, near Ballyjamesduff, has been postponed until next assizes, on the application of Mr. Deering, King's counsel, who produced affidavits from the prisoners, stating that they could not with safety go to trial, in consequence of certain inflammatory paragraphs which appeared in the Dublin Weekly Register, the Morning Register, and the Pilot. One of those publications was headed "Investigation into the Orange massacres in the county of Cavan." "I trust," continued the learned counsel, "your Lordship will teach the authors of those publications a lesson that they will not easily forget. Is it to be ensured that party feeling and party prejudice is thus set to work, in order to inflame the minds of the people - that judgement is to be pronounced, and numbers of men designated murderers before even they are sent to trial, or a bill sent before the grand jury? Besides what purports to be a report of the investigation into the Orange murders by order of government, there is a letter from the same special reporter, where the most frightful picture is drawn of the whole case; and the writer, not content with giving what appeared in evidence, as he might have fairly done without remark, says that other facts had reached him which tend to brand the faction still more deeply with crime - thus condemning what he pleased to designate the Orange faction, not only upon evidence which had been given, but upon facts which did not appear at all. The publication states, that a Mr. Francis Brady appeared as counsel for the people -"the people"- a large word; but after the report of the investigation, at which Mr. Brady had the honour to appear for the people, comes the letter of the special reporter to which I have alluded, and this letter calls upon the Parliament of the empire and the people of England to do justice and afford protection in the matter, and says that the whole affair created an uncommon degree of sensation. It further says that 150 peaceable subjects were wounded and butchered for no imaginable offence but their mode of worshipping the God of peace. The paragraph asks, are we in a civilized country? I ask is there any man can doubt now that he is not in a civilized country? This Mr. Brady that is mentioned (there is more Bradys than one) made a speech, or rather here is a speech purported to have been made by him, I hold in my hand. It appears in the Weekly Register of Saturday, the 25th of February. It is headed 'Justice Rent in the county of Cavan,' and the Register was so intent upon keeping up the excitement, that it even sent a reporter down to a Roman Catholic chapel, where this speech was purported to have been made. It was at a place called Crossgarlogh, and the speeches represented to have been made at the chapel after mass, the Rev. Mr. Reilly in the chair. The most ludicrous part of the proceeding was, that the persons assembled purported to have made it a part of their business to appoint pacificaters, while they were by their inflammatory harangues working up the minds of the people to the most fearful state of excitement."
The SOLICITOR-GENERAL did not oppose the application. With the publication in the newspapers he had nothing to do; and the only object of the Crown was to obtain a fair trial.
Judge MOORE expressed a strong sense of indignation at the unbecoming language used, and the endeavours made to excite the public mind. The tendency of that language was to lower the character of the administration of the law - to weaken confidence in the public mind in that administration. To talk of appeal to Parliament before the ordinary tribunals had been appealed to, was an insult to the tribunals. After some further reprobatory remarks, his lordship, with the concurrence of the counsel on both sides, postponed the case to next assizes.
A vast interest was manifested during the discussion, every corner of the court was fully crowded.
On Wednesday, John FORBES, described as an Orangeman, was indicted for the wilful murder of Owen SMITH, at Ballyjamesduff, on the evening of the 30th of November 1835. This was the third time the prisoner was placed on his trial for this offence. The evidence for the prosecution implicated him in the murder, and the testimony for the defence was of a directly contrary character. The jury, after being locked up all night, found it impossible to agree, and they were discharged at the bounds of the county yesterday.
Submitted by: County Cavan Newspaper Transcription Project