The prisoner was then given in charge and the first witness, Richard Robers, civil engineer, was
sworn and examined by Mr. Lynch, Q.C. A map was produced of the locality of the murder, which he had
drawn, and which described several points connected with itthe fatal spot was upwards of two miles from
Dungarvan. Thomas Sherlock, of Bandon, was sworn and examined by Mr. Pennefather.He deposed he
had the management of the lands of Grange, near Dungarvan. The prisoner was one of the tenants on the
land. The deceased, James Troy, was bailiff on the lands. The prisoner owed rent, and witness took promissory
notes from him, Browne, and John Ahearne. He obtained decrees against Maurice Ahearn [sic] for
£38 at Dungarvan October sessions, '51 also obtained decrees against several other tenants.
Thought Maurice Ahearn was an honest man, and one of the best tenants on the land.
On his cross-examination by Mr. F. Meagher, he said he was connected with the land as agent for ten years.
He never had any trouble with the prisoner, but the reverse. Witness made large allowances to the prisoners,
owing to the pressure of the times. The reductions were made with the consent of Mr. Edmond Hartigan Walsh,
George Kelly, solicitor, sworn and examined by Mr. Lawson. At last October Dungarvan sessions was employed
by Mr. Sherlock to issue civil bills against the prisoner and other tenants for rent due on their promissory notes,
to which the deceased James Troy was a subscribing witness. Obtained decrees on the civil bills (produced) on
the proof of Troy's handwriting by a man named Edward LynchTroy's death was proved also to have
taken place the day before.
Cross-examined by Mr. S. Curtis Nothing material was elicited. Troy, he said, was examined by a witness
against the tenants the day before, the 27th of October, and was to be examined the day after against the
William Healy examined by Mr. Georgeknew the Ahearns, Maurice and John, and Brown. He (Brown)
is not a relation of the Ahearns to his knowledge; saw the prisoners the Sunday before the sessions, and
he said he intended to defend the processes. The prisoner said Troy was a blackguard, and ought to be
kicked. He, witness, had a process against one Hannigan, on a promissory note, to which Troy was a
subscribing witness, and proved to it. Went with Troy to Keane's lodging house in Dungarvan, and settled
for his bed and supper. Went from Keane's to Fitzgerald's public house saw John Ahearn standing
at Keane's door when coming out. John Ahearn followed them down to Fitzgerald'switness gave
Troy half a glass of whiskey, and then walked a few yards with Troy towards Keane's house, and then left him.
I never saw him alive after that evening. I saw Pat Brown in Dungarvan that day, but did not see John Ahearn
there. The next day Troy was killed.
Cross examined by Mr. Meagher. It was within two months of the process that he heard Maurice Ahearn call
Troy a blackguard. Never heard anything against the prisoner, but that he was an honest man.
Patrick Keane (a small boy) examined by Mr. Lynch, Q.C.Lives in Dungarvan with his father
remembers the October Sessionssaw James Troy in his father's house at that time, about 6 or 7 o'clock
in the evening with a man named Healythey went into the kitchen which is opposite the shop. There
is a boarded partition in which there is a window between the shop and the kitchen. A person could see into
the kitchen through the window. A man came in, John Ahearne, who was tried last Assizes.He asked
his witness's step mother for some milk. Saw John Ahearn looking through the window, after which he left the
shop on seeing Troy and Healy come from the kitchenhe went out before them and passed down
Cross-examined by Mr. Meagherwas examined last Assizessaid he did not well know
John Ahearnsaw him in jail, and knew himsaw him in Dungarvan bridewell but was not sure
of him. A policeman brought him to the jail to see John Ahearn and then he knew him. To the judge
when I saw John Ahearne in Dungarvan I said to the best of my belief it was him. I was not sure of him then.
To Mr. meagherwhen the man came into his father's shop was sitting on the settee in the kitchen,
and was looking in the hole in the partition to the shopthere was a fire in the kitchen, and a candle
in the shop. I never knew John Ahearn before I saw him in the shop.
Ellen Keane stepmother to last witness, was examined by Mr. PennefatherShe keeps a lodging
house in Dungarvan and knew James Troy, who came in with Healy to her house about 7 o'clock on the
evening of the first day of the sessionsthere is a hole in the partition but no glass. When Healy
and Troy went into the kitchen a tall man came into the shop and looked into the kitchen through the hole.
A second man stood outside, and Healy and Troy went out in a few minutes. The man asked if James Troy
was there, and on being told he was, the man looked in through the hole in the partition.
Edmund Lynch was examined by Mr. Pennefatherknew John and Maurice Ahearne and Pat Browne
they were tenants on the landacted as bailiff with Troysaw John and Maurice Ahearne
and Pat Browne in Dungarvan at Mrs. Keane's house near the square the first day of the sessionssaw
Troy in the square and the Ahearnes a little down from himwent to Keane's house, and he and Tom
Keane went out to look for Troyit was then about two hours after dark. Slept at Keane's that
nightTroy didn't come to Keane's that night. Deposed to Troy's handwriting to promissory notes next day
at the sessions.
Cross-examined by Mr. Curtiswitness is a very general attendant at every sessions in Dungarvan.
William O'Brien examined by Mr. LawsonLives at Knockinagreena, in this county; knows John and
Maurice Ahearne, and Pat BrownBrown is married to witness' sister. Saw Pat Brown and his wife,
Maurice Ahearn and James Troy and Troy's daughter came into Mr. Maurice O'Brien's public house. John
Ahearne and his wife and Maurice Ahearne's wife came in after. They called for a half a pint of whiskey,
a gallon of porter, and a shilling's worth of bread, and a pint of whiskey after. Troy said he was going to
decree the tenants next day, and it was their own fault, for if they would make up £3 17s,
the bailiff's fees, he would not decree them. They said they would if he went home with them, in order to
get the other tenants to subscribe. They said they would give him £3, which was lodged in witness's
hands; remained in the house while they were eating and drinking; went over with Maurice Ahearne for his
horse and cart. Troy said he wouldn't go home that night, and his daughter wanted him to go Troy
was very drunk, but able to walk. John Ahearne had more sign of drink than any of them except Troy. The
women were sober.
Cross-examined by Mr. Meagher Biddy Troy began with a glass of whiskey she took
either a dandy of punch or some beer after she took another glass of whiskey afterwards, but spilt
some of it. Biddy was not the worse of the liquor she drank. Brown and John Ahearne prevented Troy from
drinking more whiskey.
Bridget Troy, daughter of the deceased James Troy, was examined by Mr. George was living with
her father last October he was driver under Mr. Sherlock On Monday the 27th of October
her father left home at 4 o'clock in the morning witness left home at 2 o'clock that day, for Dungarvan
which is eight miles from it. She reached Dungarvan after the gas was lit. She saw near O'Brien's
public house, the Ahearnes, Browne, their wives, and her father. They called for three half-pints of whiskey,
three half gallons of porter and a shilling's worth of bread. She drank a glass of spirits Paddy Browne
gave her father spirits and she told Browne it was a shame to give it to him, and she poured it into the jug
back again. Browne filled it again and gave it to her father. They were speaking about costs and desired
William Brien to take the £3, towards the costs and keepers. The Ahearnes wanted her father to go
home with them to see if the balance of the costs, seventeen shillings. Saw a dark colored stick in Paddy
Browne's hand in the public house. Her father had drank "his nough" (? more than enough.) [sic]
O'Brien's and went to Duggan's to get Morris [sic] Ahearne's horse and car. They all, except O'Brien, went to
a public house at the "White Joiners". Saw her father, Maurice and John Ahearne, and Pat Browne come up
on a car to a place called the sluice. Witness and the women were walkingshe said she would not
go in the car, and the women said she ought to see her father home. Went on with Ellen Ahearne to
Killingford, and saw Paddy Browne returning towards Dungarvansaw no one with him
he had no stick with him when he was returning. She and Ellen Ahearne were sitting at the "short cut"
waiting for the other two women, when she heard three blows, "very deaf blows that made very little noise."
when they heard the blows they went to the forge, where Browne and the women joined them. Browne went
part of the way with them by the short cut, and had to return as he could not bring the horse that way.
Witness and the two Ahearnes wives went to Browne's house that night, and remained there that night
it was very late when they arrived at Browne's house. In the morning went to Maurice Ahearne's house and his
wife was dressing. She, the wife, said "Biddy, it was Maurice that made that noise last night." She asked Maurice
why he made that noise and he said it was to frighten hershe asked him where was her father, and he
said he believed he was at John's (Ahearne) She then went to John Ahearne's house, and saw his wife there
heard John Ahearne speak in the room; went to her father's house with Brown's wife, and then went with
her to Brown's house, where she saw the two Ahearnes and Browne, and his wife there. They all went out and
left her alone in the houseafter Browne's wife again came in she went to Maurice Ahearne's and
asked him would he go that day to Dungarvan, he said not, as he had to go to Youghal. She then went to
Dungarvan and on her way was told by the police of her father's death.
Cross-examined by Mr. MeagherShe was asked by Browne to get into the car at the White Joiners
to mind her fatherher father was not in the car. Brown did not ask her to get into the car at Hudson's
gate, or at the sluice she did not get into the car when she saw her father in the car as she did not wish
to leave the women who were walkingwent next day to Dungarvan to get her father to release a pig
of his which was seized the day before by the policeshe did not at the time know he was killed.
Nancy Curran, servant at O'Brien's public house, examinedShe corroborated the evidence as to the
parties drinking in the house and the quantity of liquor drank by themalso as to the party going to
Duggan's in the square, for Maurice Ahearne's horse and cart.
Patrick Broderick examined by Mr. PennefatherLives at Slievegrineplays the fiddle, and acted
as keeper on the lands of Grange in Sept. '51. Knows Pat Brownewas in his house about the 12th
of October he his wife and two children were there. Browne's wife said[Here Mr. Meagher
objected to this line of examination.]
His lordship agreed with the objection, and the witness was desired to stand down.
John Deacon examined by Mr. LarsonIs a process serverwent to the lands of Grange in
October last to John and Maurice Ahearne and Patrick Browne to serve processes.
The witness was here about to detail a conversation he had with John Ahearne on that occasion, when Mr.
Meagher objected to any conversation held with any of the parties previous to the date of the charge of the
conspiracy. He read some extracts on the law of conspiracy in support of his arguments and objection.
The Crown Counsel argued on its admissability.
The Judge said as the counsel pressed its admissability he would receive it.
Examination resumedJohn Ahearne said the process I served on his daughter was of no use as she
was not of ageshe was to the best of his knowledgeJohn Ahearne said if the tenants had any
spirit they would bring out Troy and make four quarters of him, as he was a rogue or a ruffian, and that the
tenants were making up money to keep him (Troy) at home from giving evidence.
Cross-examined by Mr. MeagherHeard Mr. Kildahl was to succeed Mr. Sherlock as agent.
Subconstable William Johnson examined by Mr. GeorgeWent to Killongford on the morning of the
28th October, and saw the body of a man at the side of the road that had been murderedthe body
was lying partly on the face, within seven perches of the "short cut," near the bend of the road. Found a
stick (produced) near the bodyalso a stone (produced)on both of which there were marks of
bloodthe back of his head was broken inthere was blood also about the head.
Constable James Flanagan examined by Mr. LynchArrested Maurice Ahearne on the evening of the
day the body was found at the Piltown Cross. Where the prisoners lived is about three miles from Youghal.
Dr. William George Clarke examined the body of a man named James Troy who had been murdered. The
bones of the head were brokenthere were contused lacerated wounds, and the brain itself was broken.
To the JudgeA fall from a car could not cause such wounds, not even if the wheel of a car went over it.
Constable John Riordan proved to the identity of the body of the murdered man.
The case for the prosecution having closed Mr. Meagher argued that no conspiracy was proved, and
consequently there was no case to go to the jury.
His lordship was of opinion there was.
Mr. S. Curtis addressed the jury on the part of the prisoner in a very able manner, contending that there was
no conspiracy sustained by the evidence produced on the part of the crown.
There was no evidence produced for the defense.
His lordship then proceeded to charge the jury, and commented on the evidence in one of the most lucid
and clear charges we ever heard delivered to a juryit was also a voluminous one, and not a single
particle of evidence given by so many witnesses as were examined, escaped his lordship's
observationand what makes this mnemonical and legal knowledge the more extraordinary is that his
lordship never took a single note of the evidence himself, and which was taken by his lordship's secretary,
Mr. De Moulins, and to which the learned baron, during his long charge, never had a necessity to recur.
The jury retired, and in a few minutes returned into court, with a verdict of guilty.
His lordship directed that sentence of death be recorded against the prisoner, which is tantamount to
transportation for life.
Mr. Hassard, counsel for Patrick Browne, the other prisoner charged as one of the conspirators, and who
would not join in his challenges with Maurice Ahearne, applied to the court to have him put on trial.
His lordship said the other jurors had been told their attendance would not be further required, and he could
not, under the circumstances, fine them then if they did not answer to their names.
Mr. Hassard having persisted in his application, the county panel was called over by the clerk of the crown,
but their [sic] being not a single answer, his lordship directed the prisoner to stand over for trial till next assizes.
Mary Nugent, for concealing the birth of a child, near Lismore, was acquitted.
Mary Hallahan was found guilty of a similar offence near Carrickbeg.
The only remaining record, one of ejectment for the tithe, in which Mr. Lynbery was plaintiff, and James
Power, defendant, was settled as the jury were about being sworn.
Counsel for plaintiffMr. Walsh and Mr. Tandy; agent Mr. R. Smith
Counsel for defendantMr. Harris; agent Messrs. Elliott and Newport.
The business of the assizes which was unusually light, having terminated, the Hon. Justice Moore proceeded
to Clonmel on Wednesday, and the Hon. Baron Pennefather on Thursday. The commission was opened by
Judge Moore in Clonmel, on Friday (yesterday).