Ireland Old News

The Times
London, Middlesex, England

July 06, 1846



Some 48 hours after a heterogeneous majority of 78 members of the House of Commons had declared by their votes against the necessity of the Protection for Life (Ireland) Bill, a most atrocious case of murder occurs in the county of Cavan, where the slumbering system of "Molly Maguireism" appears to be reviving, invigorated by a long abstinence from active operations, and fortified by the notion that the English Legislature has, by its recent net, pronounced finally against the adoption of any extraordinary measures for the detection and repression of crime. The particulars – and more horrifying ones have been rarely recorded in the annals of assassination – are thus given in the Fermanagh Reporter:--

"BELTURBET, June 30.-- A terrible outrage, which ended in murder, occurred last night on the lands of Derrycraghan, near this town. Three men came to the house of Tom Burns, dragged him out of his bed (in which were his wife and three children), one carrying him by the feet, the other two by his arms, and murdered him in a most coldblooded manner. Two of the ruffians held Burns by his arms against a table at his own door while the third deliberately groped for his short ribs, and discharged a pistol filled with duck shot. The shot spread upwards, and took effect in his lungs and heart. Poor Burns lived from 1 o'clock last night until some time to-day, and on the police being sent for he gave information against the three men, neighbours whom he knew and identified. They are now in Cavan gaol. Their names are Smith, Farrelly, and Reilly, who fired the shot. Burns had ceased to worship as a Roman Catholic, attended the Church of England, and had given information respecting Ribandism, for which he has been murdered. Captain Gibbons and a mounted policeman, with constable Harrison and sub-constable Mortimer, composed the party who so promptly arrested the murderers of Burns. In the same direction, but nearer Killeshandra, shots have been fired at men named Donohoe and Hassard, arising out of disputes about land. A gun was taken from Hassard, for which three men were also committee."

Another account says, that the murderers deliberately felt for the beating of the unhappy victim's heart, then placing the muzzle of the pistol to the spot fired into his body.

Jul 28, 1846


At Templeport, on the 23d inst., by the Rev. Thomas LA NAUZE, Francis PYNER, Esq., Captain 5th Fusiliers, to Mary NEILSON, only daughter of the late T. GREY, Esq., and relict of the late John BAKER, Esq., of Ashgrove, county of Cavan.

Submitted by: County Cavan Newspaper Transcription Project

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