Kilmainham Jail wasnt always remembered for its 1916 connection. In 1821 two young women were publically hanged for murder.

Here is a gory account

edit- item removed by request]

Link removed


I ncame accross another reference in a rare book catalogue. This gives the motive of the murder of Mrs Hamilton by Ennis & Butterly as revenge suggesting Hamilton had replaced Butterly in Captain Pecks affections and given birth to his son.

Author [Anon] Title A particular account of the cruel murder of Mrs. Thompson & in the city of Dublin Imprint Glasgow: John Muir Date of Publication c. 1821 Language English Notes Accounts of murders were a stock theme in 19th-century broadsides, the more gruesome and tragic the better. This moralising Glasgow broadside is based on an account in the "Dublin Journal" of the brutal murder of 19 year-old Mrs Thompson in the house of a certain Captain Peck in Portland Place, and would have been of interest to the large Irish community in Glasgow. Two servant women, Bridget Ennis and Bridget Butterly, appear to have worked together on a plan to burgle the house. During the robbery Mrs Thompson was murdered, apparently stabbed with a knife and beaten with a hot poker. The broadside typically focuses on Mrs Thompson's youth and beauty and the fact that she was the mother of a three week-old child. The author draws some comfort from the fact that the culprits were swiftly apprehended, Butterly having aroused suspicion by using a blood-stained £10 note at a local grocer's shop. The Library also has in its collections another broadside reporting the execution of Ennis and Butterly on 21 May 1821 and Butterly's public confession (shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(20) - digitised on the Word on the Street (http://www.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/14675/criteria/butterly)), which gives further details of the crime. Butterly was a former servant and lover of Captain Peck, who had a miscarriage when pregnant with his child and was later dismissed from service for speaking disrespectfully of "Miss" [sic] Thompson. Along with Ennis she decided to rob her former employer and to use the proceeds to flee to England. The women's motivation for the robbery as revenge on the predatory Captain Peck is thus made clear. Butterly's decision to murder Mrs/Miss Thompson, against Ennis's wishes, is seen as jealousy on her part, the victim being presumably Peck's mistress and the mother of his child. Shelfmark AP.4.208.13 Acquired on 02/05/07


another sourse has their bodies being sent for dissection

After hanging the usual time the bodies were
taken down and sent to Surgeon's Hall to be

A stray dog who wondered onto the place of execution was killed by soldiers

A corps of Horse Police, on guard,
amongst whom a poor inoffensive dog unfor-
tunately took refuge, at this awful hour, ex
cited their sport, and whom they cut in pieces,
with their swords, each making a smash at it, as
it ran moaning from the wounds it had receiv-
ed ; pleasant diversion indeed for the hands
of the preservers of peace to be engaged in

A warning to young women who are ahem shown kindness

Such is an account of this horrible transac-
tion, and which strikes the mind with horror ;
these two young females, in an evil hour, and
with the temptation of gain, murdered the un-
fortunate young lady, who, a few minutes be-
fore, bad shown them the greatest kindness,
and who never dreaded the errand upon which
they entered the house, should operate as a
warning to all young women, especially ser-
vants, to beware of jealousy, and to be clear
of ill-will to the persons whom they sus-
pect of being their foes.

Another broadside on a Limerick execution of Henry Stokes and Patrick Sheehan in the aftermath of 1798

Author [Anon] Title A melancholy account of several barbarous murders & lately committed in the counties of Limerick, Clonmel, Kildare and Carlow Imprint Glasgow: T. Duncan Date of Publication [c. 1800] Language English Notes This is a rare Glasgow broadside outlining recent murders committed in Ireland by groups of "armed banditties". After the failure of the 1798 Rebellion pockets of armed resistance to British rule were still to be found in parts of the country, with gangs carrying out robberies and reprisals on anyone with loyalist sympathies. The main series of murders mentioned here were the result of an attack on the Boland family home in Manister, Co. Limerick in March 1800. (Justice in this case turned out to be swift and brutal: contemporary newspaper accounts subsequently record that the following month two men, Henry Stokes and Patrick Sheehan, were found guilty by a general court martial at Limerick of the murder of the male members of the Boland family. The men were hanged, after which their bodies were brought to Limerick and thrown into a mass grave, the 'Croppies'-hole', at the new gaol.) The broadside briefly refers to the "state of fermentation" in "that unhappy country" but is more concerned with stressing the barbarity of the crimes being committed and also alludes to the apparent complicity of the Catholic church in the outrages by offering absolution to convicted murderers. Shelfmark AP.4.208.12 Acquired on 02/05/07



The Irish Free State was almost blase about executions in the early years of Independence (political stuff is covered elsewhere).

The case that always comes to mind for me is Peter Pringle who was the last man to be sentenced to death in Europe.

On July 7, 1980, Pringle stood in the dock of Green Street courthouse and heard these chilling words: 'You will be taken from this court to the prison in which you were last held, and on the 19th day of December in the year of our Lord 1980 you shall there be made to suffer death by execution in the manner prescribed by law.' By 1980 the more callous traditions that went with sending a man to the gallows were no longer in use - the judge didn't don a black cap to pass sentence of death anymore. Nor did he end his pronouncement by pompously proclaiming: 'May the Lord have mercy on your soul.' But none of that changed the fact that it was a death sentence - and Mr Pringle had been given one of the last handed down in this country.

There was another problem: Pringle, who spent six months on death row before his sentence was eventually commuted to 40 years' penal servitude, had no involvement in the murder of two gardai for which he was convicted.
It took him another 15 years to have his conviction overturned. And it was not until 1990 that the death penalty was taken off the statute books.
Pringle, now 71 and living with another death row survivor, American woman, Sonia 'Sunny' Jacobs, has still not received a cent in compensation from the State.
'I'm living proof that Judge Johnson is wrong,' he said. 'I am the only person sentenced to death in this country who has ever had their conviction quashed.
'I am the only living person in Europe who has had a death penalty quashed, as far as I know. But the statistics across the boards, everywhere, show that at least ten per cent of the people being executed were innocent.


Ireland hadnt hanged anyone since the 1950's when Michael Manning of Limerick was executed in Easter week 1954 for killing a nun.

It has always been a matter of great regret to me that it was not abolished in 1922. The Draft Constitution submitted to the Provisional Government and signed by Hugh Kennedy, C.J. France and myself, included a provision that the penalty of death shall not be attached to any offence. I discussed the matter with Michael Collins and he said that he would endeavour to get the Provisional Government to accept the abolition of capital punishment. Collins told me that he was opposed to the death penalty for treason and that he had an open mind as to whether or not it should be imposed for murder.1
This quote from James Greene Douglas was made in Dáil Eireann in October 1951 by Seán MacBride, speaking on his motion that the Dáil appoint a Select Committee to examine and report on the desirability of abolishing capital punishment. MacBride had told the Dáil that he had received a letter supporting his move from Douglas, a Dublin Quaker businessman who had been a member of the Senate of the Free State

Civilian executions were carried out for over 30 years following independence and this was one of the first

the case of Felix McMullen, who had killed a civic guard in the course of an attempt to escape after a bank robbery in Baltinglass Co. Wicklow. McMullens defence was one of manslaughter and much of the evidence indicated this. His first trial was presided over by Mr Justice Thomas Lopdell O'Shaughnessy who had, rather bizarrely, been appointed to the High Court in 1924 at the age of almost 73, despite the fact that the Courts of Justice Act of 1924 had set 72 as the retirement age for judges. Manslaughter or not, McMullen was always going to hang for the killing of a police officer. The jury in the first trial failed to agree on a murder verdict, having been prevented by the judge from returning one of manslaughter, the judge reminding them that there was a court of appeal. The jury was clearly hectored, almost bullied, by O'Shaughnessy.11 Despite intense judicial pressure the jury refused to convict Felix McMullen of murder and was discharged. The re-trial was ordered by OShaughnessy for the next day and only under vehement protests by McMullen's counsel did the judge allow a 24-hour postponement. The second jury, given the stark choice of acquittal or conviction of murder, chose the latter, but entered a strong recommendation to mercy. There were petitions by the two juries that had tried McMullen, seeking a commutation of the death sentence and many other attempts to save him by appeal to the Government. All were unavailing, and McMullen was hanged on 1 August 1924. In the Dáil that same day Kevin O'Higgins was asked why the Government had not responded to the petitions from the juries to reprieve McMullen. The question was asked on behalf of Joseph McGrath, who had until recently been a member of the Government. O'Higgins was , stating simply that the juries were no longer such but twelve private citizens.12 http://www.ucd.ie/pages/99/articles/grundy.html

I dont agree with Grundy here as taking a weapon itself to an armed robbery is premeditation.


While browsing the internet I came accross a list of Irish Women Hanged -mostly for husband killing and with a partner.

This is the list of women executed in this Country between the years of 1800 and 1923. I can’t do tabs and it reads Date of Execution, Name, Location, Crime.

29th January 1800 Mary Connor Gallows Green Cork for murder

17th April 1801 Elizabeth Burne Naas for murder.

22nd August 1810 Mary Costigan Tipperary for murder.

30th March 1811 Eleanor Shiel Tipperary for child murder.

31st March 1813 Catherine Geran Limerick Burglary

2nd April 1813 Catherine Donovan Gallows Green Cork Murder

19th July 1815 Jane Mulholland Armagh Murder of her husband.

4th August 1815 Honara Houraghan Gallows Green Cork Murder of her husband.

10th April 1818 Mary Connell Gallows Green Cork Murder

11th August 1818 Bridget Murray Cavan Murder of her husband.

29th March 1819 Mary McGarry Downpatrick Child Murder

14th March 1823 Mary Plunkett Trim Co Meath Murder of her husband.

14th March 1822 Frances Gilligan Trim Co Meath Aiding in the above murder.

23rd April 1823 Mrs McKinnon Dublin Murder

16th August 1824 Esther Loughbridge Carrickfergus Murder of her sister in law.

11th March 1825 Eleanor Ryan Limerick Murder of her husband.

28th April 1826 Joanna Lovett Tralee Murder of her husband.

17th March 1828 Mary Magrath Dundalk Murder

22nd March 1830 Ellen Connell Tralee Murder of her husband.

25th March 1830 Mary Kelly Kilkenny Murder of her aunt.

31st March 1830 Jane Graham Carrickfergus Murder of her husband.

31st March 1830 Mary Murphy Limerick Conspiracy to murder.

13th August 1830 Bridget Brennan Tralee Murder of her husband

24th August 1830 Margaret Clelland Downpatrick Murder

18th March 1831 Margaret Mackesay Limerick Murder

5th August 1831 Agnes Clarke Downpatrick Murder.

6th August 1831 Judith Butler Clonmel Murder
8th June 1832 Margaret Gunning Clonmel Murder.

19th August 1833 Elizabeth Heaffy Cork Murder.

17th February 1834 Maria Canning Dublin Murder

13th March 1835 Lucinda Sly Carlow Murder of her husband hanged with male accomplice.

7th August 1837 Mary Cooney Limerick Murder of Anne Anderson.

1st May 1841 Mary Ann McConkey Monaghan Murder of her husband.

7th August 1844 Catherine Bryan Roscommon Murder of her husband Patrick.

7th August 1844 Bridget Lanigan Roscommon Murder of her brother in law above.

21st March 1849 Jane Scully Roscommon Murder of Isabella Brennan (Hanged with a male co-defendant.)

11th August 1849 Catherine Dillon Limerick Murder of her husband Daniel (Hanged with male co-defendant)

27th July 1850 Bridget Keogh Ennis Murder of Arthur O’Donnell (Hanged with male co-defendant)

10th May 1851 Catherine Connolly Cork Murder of Mary Morris

29th April 1853 Bridget Stackpole Ennis Murder of her nephew James (Hanged with her husband Richard)

29th April 1853 Honora Stackpole Ennis As above and the last woman to be publicly executed publicly in Ireland.

9th January 1903 Mary Daly Tullamore Murder of her husband John. (Her co-defendant was hanged two days later)

5th August 1925 Annie Walsh Dublin Murder of her Husband Edward. Her nephew and lover was executed on the same day. She was the last woman to be executed in Ireland.


One that stands out is the fantasticly named Lucinda Sly who with her servant John Dempsey killed her husband Walter. Her ghost is said to haunt Carlow shopping Center.

the Govenors house witch is now Cafe Le Monde
Does Lucy Slye’s ghost still

look down on the old gaol?

ON that moment when her frightened body fell, when the rope tightened around her frail neck, what did Lucy Slye see? Or did she see at all?

Crowds baying for blood, innocent or not, roaring, cheering her drop to death. She must have been a frightened soul, looking down from the gallows with her misty teary eyes. More likely, poverty was Lucy’s only crime.

In the old gaol in Carlow, now Carlow Shopping Centre, the ghost of an unseen woman roams, caught between the world of reality and the other side. For this ghost, it is a lonely life.

Dominic Peel, owner of Cafe Le Monde, is one who has felt this ghost’s presence, and he is convinced that it is Lucy Slye’s spirit who haunts Carlow Gaol.

He has researched the details of this historic place, and he believes the “mysterious lady”, who frequents his premises, is the victim of a hanging, a person who garnered her last breath from the foul air in the hanging cell.

“It was not uncommon in those days (the late 1700s to early 1800s) that a person was hung for stealing food,” said Dominic, noting that it is a little ironic that she now haunts the shopping centre where his restaurant is situated.

Yet, Dominic has not felt any animosity from the ghost, who he described as “very playful”, although neither him or his staff will stay alone on the premises when darkness descends.

The first time Lucy came to the notice of the staff of Cafe Le Monde was when some papers disappeared. Nothing unusual about that. Only that they reappeared on a table two weeks later.

Still a little doubtful? As they do every evening, the staff brushed and mopped the floor, leaving the chairs up on the tables.

Next morning, the staff arrived in bright eyed and bushy tailed, only to find that all the chairs were on the floor, and rearranged.

There were other instances, as witnesses saw lights flashing upstairs from the ground floor. Indeed, Dominic told the story of getting “an eerie feeling”, as if being watched, while alone in his office one night. He left quickly.

Perhaps one of the most amazing stories recorded was when an order arrived late one evening and the chef decided to unpack and sort it out in the morning.

However, when the staff came in next day, they found that the goods had been put away in the kitchen. The chef thanked another member for doing the work, yet all the staff denied undertaking the task.

Such deeds on the part of the ghost has left the staff unafraid, and indeed her presence in the shopping centre is often seen as a bit of a joke.

“Now,” said Dominic, “whenever anything goes missing, they say go and check with Lucy.” But they will still not stay after dark.

Dominic explained that the story goes that, before her death, Lucy put a curse on all successive governors of the old gaol that they would die young. Dominic added: “Thank God! I’ve seemed to have weathered the storm.”

If the ghost of Lucy Slye is trapped between the four walls of Carlow Shopping Centre for eternity, who knows? Certainly, from the historical evidence, the gaol has had a chequered history.

Public hangings were spectacles and entertainment of a sort.

In an article entitled Carlow Gaol, writer Peter Thomas recounted the story of an English woman’s visit in the 1840s to Carlow, where she happened upon a hanging.

She described the hanging as “a scene of wickedness and debauchery” and noted that many of the drunken spectators were being sold alcohol by “women of doubtful morals”. What would Galway District Court Judge Garavan say about that?

Anyway, there are many horrific accounts of these hangings throughout history, with one priest protesting to the “noisy and boisterous” crowd to desist so the person being hanged could make their peace with God. Was Lucy Slye, believed to be the last woman hanged in Carlow Gaol, afforded this opportunity? Did she make her peace with God?

Some accounts of Lucina Sly's story say that her husband was a brute of a man. It was her second marriage and her son was a policeman and before all this happened she even discussed the beatings with her clergyman.

One man who knew the Slys and wasn’t afraid to speak out was the Rev. John Doyne.
When examined by the Crown he was quite forthright in his testimony. “ I knew Sly about 12
years”, he said, “and I knew his wife for the same time.” He continued:
“ About five years ago she complained to me of the ill-treatment she received from her
husband. He was a man of a most violent temper. She told me that upon occasion she was
turned out without any clothing at night, and beaten with a horsewhip.”

But then he was on fairly good terms with her son -a policeman so one wonders what really went on

The day before the murder --Saturday, the 8 November 1834 -- was a fair day in Carlow
town. She remembered it well, not least because she chanced to meet Walter Sly there.
Walter was an acquaintance and, while at the fair, she spent a few minutes in his company.
About 5 o’clock in the evening, she decided to leave the fair and made her way home out by
Graigue and up the steep incline past Bilboa and Slievemargy right into the heart of Leix
(then Queen’s County). Walter Sly and a companion named Ned Radwell, who was riding
with him, overtook her, and they all rode together for some distance.
Walter had the appearance of someone who had some drink taken, but there was nothing
unusual about that. Most people left a fair with a little drink on them -- and there was nothing
extraordinary about Walter’s behaviour. When Radwell fell behind, Walter got talking again
to Francis. It was small talk, such as passes between people going the same road.
He told her that he was on his way to dine at the police barracks in Bilboa with a young man
named Thomas Singleton. Thomas Singleton was Lucinda Sly’s son by a previous marriage
and was therefore stepson to Walter. Singleton was a policeman stationed at Bilboa and
when the party reached Bilboa they joined Singleton in a public house and had a drink
They talked about various things, Francis Campbell stating later that she never noticed
whether Singleton carried a gun or not. She bid her company goodnight, saddled her horse
and headed for home in the hinterland of Slievemargy. It was, she said, the last time she
would ever set eyes on Walter Sly.
When asked what kind of a man Walter was, she had no hesitation in replying that he was “a
man of robustic temper”. Such was the language of the times, used no doubt to describe
what was, perhaps, an independent self-assertive -- and probably an unhappy -- man. As to
whether Walter ever spoke of his fear of being shot, she couldn’t venture an opinion,
although he did once mention that his life was in danger. Persons named Brennan had some
quarrel with him over land – and yes; he was a drinking man and yes; he was in the habit of
carrying arms about his person.

So on to the trial

Both were charged with having conspired, aided and assisted in the murder of Walter Sly, at
the Ridge of Old Leighlin on the morning of the 9th of November past (1834). A considerable
amount of time was occupied in calling over the panel, which was ‘the most numerous and
respectable we recollect’ for many years. During the reading of the Indictment, which
contained eight counts, the prisoners stood unmoved, and pleaded not guilty. The son of the
female prisoner by a former marriage, a young man named Singleton, who we understand is
in the Police assisted throughout in the defence. Mr Job L Campion, the agent for the
defence, and Mr Seeds on the part of the Crown challenged the panel on both sides, when
the petty Jury was sworn (See Appendix A).
Again we have an array of Carlow names and noticeable among them is Samuel Haughton,
of the famous Haughton family, namesake to the man who scientifically studied the most
efficient way to hang someone.
In legal terms the case seemed simple enough, but depended upon the quality of the
evidence given. Lucinda Sly was married and had issue by an earlier marriage. She then
married Walter Sly and had no issue by her second marriage. Indeed, it was a lamentable
fact that the second marriage was not a very harmonious one, each party, whether wittingly
or unwittingly, made the other quite ill at ease about their home at Old Leighlin

Dempsey was late 20's or 30 and she was aged betwen 54 and 60 and whether they were lovers or not it appears he was blackmailing her.

One thing is sure; Walter Sly was very popular with the police. A couple of days before the
murder another Sub-constable -- John James -- went out to Walter’s place to help him kill a
pig. John Dempsey and Lucinda Sly were there. James happened to the in the dairy when
he saw ‘ some symptoms of intimacy between the prisoners.’ More significantly, perhaps, he
also ‘saw her‘ taking hold of his person’.
It became clear from the tenor of the evidence that sexual impropriety, however undesirable,
was not going to successfully drive the murder charge to conviction. There would have to be
more substantial evidence present about the actual murder itself. And the Crown sought that
assistance from the next two witnesses, Mrs. Bridget M’Assey and old Michael Connors,
who were expected to provide that extra help that the prosecution needed to clarify the case
for the jury.
Bridget M’Assey and her husband lived ‘within two fields’ of Sly’s house and she claimed to
have known both Walter and Lucinda Sly well. She recalled that the couple were very
discontented ‘some nine years previously’ and Mrs Sly used to complain more recently to
“When the turf was cutting last season,” she said, “Lucinda showed me the marks of a
beating.” She also knew Dempsey, who was servant to the Slys. He was hired because -- at
the time -- there was no female servant available. As a married woman, Bridget also thought
it most improper of Mrs Sly ‘to go into a room with Dempsey and lock the door on herself’.
She also saw her ‘frequently with her hands about Dempsey’s neck’. She also saw
‘transactions’ when she was getting the potatoes. The ‘transactions’ remained unspecified;
but the court seemed to know what she meant.
She also claimed that Lucinda told her that when Dempsey saw her get money, he would
take it from her to buy tobacco. Indeed, according to the witness, he used to sell milk and
butter for her behind Walter’s back. This left Mrs Sly short and witness used to give her
some money.

The execution and news reports

The Kilkenny Journal (8 April) briefly described the event :
At half past two o’clock the culprits were brought to the fatal drop in white linen dresses. A
Protestant and Presbyterian Clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Hare and the Rev. Mr Flood attended
Mrs. Sly. The female appeared almost lifeless, being with difficulty held in an erect posture
by one of the Clergymen and the Governor of the Gaol, who were both obliged to assist the
executioner in his part of the arrangements, otherwise she must have been strangled before
she was turned off. —
The Rev. Mr. Hume and the Rev. Mr. Duggan, R.C. Clergyman, attended Dempsey. He
came forward to the fatal drop, with a firm step, and great apparent composure. He made a
motion as if to say something, but from the great noise of the multitude, which was
congregated to witness the tragic scene, he, at the instance of the Clergyman, gave up his
intention, and in an instant both were launched into eternity.
The wretched woman, as we are informed, previous to her execution evinced little or no
symptoms of repentance, and appeared to be almost insensible to the awfulness of her
situation, though the necessity of both was hourly impressed upon her by the Clergymen in
attendance, and several humane ladies, who were in the habit of visiting the prison.
Dempsey, on the contrary, before and after his trial, manifested the strongest desire of
making peace with his God. He spent several hours daily in prayer and other religious
exercise. He seemed perfectly resigned to his fate; and we have no hesitation assaying he
died perfectly penitent.
He was rather a well looking man, about five feet ten inches in height, remarkably well
proportioned, and about thirty years old. Mrs Sly was probably double that age; it did not
appear to be so much.

What really happened from their confessions

Prior to their execution the prisoners made the coveted admission of their guilt, and
according to the Leinster Independent at the time, the real circumstances of the murder
occurred in the following manner: -
Sly, as appeared on the trial, was a man of very violent temper, and often beat his wife,
without the slightest provocation. Dempsey lived as a servant with them, and had often to
interfere between them. He generally succeeded in pacifying his master.
On the morning of the night on which Sly was murdered – previous to going to the fair – he
beat his wife, and promised her, on his return – to sue his own words – to make skillets of
her skull. During the day Mrs Sly told Dempsey she was sure her husband would murder her
some time -- which he had latterly become jealous of him; and would murder him also.
On Sly’s return home he appeared rather in liquor, and before long commenced to beat his
wife. Dempsey, as usual, had to interfere, and with difficulty succeeded in making peace. Sly
then went to the fire, sat down, took off his leggings, and spurs, and fell asleep.
Mrs. Sly subsequently went to a chest or bin, brought from it a hatchet, and placed it beside
Dempsey, who was sitting on a settle bed, saying, and “now is your time to settle him.”
He at first objected to her proposal, but finally yielded, and taking up he hatchet, went over to
where Sly was sleeping, but upon attempting to raise his arm, felt himself devoid of the
power. ~He returned back to the place where Mrs Sly was standing, saying he could not do
it. She reproached him with his cowardice – he went as second time, and found himself
equally powerless. She then said” give me the hatchet; I will do it myself.” –
He gave it to her, but she instantly returned, exclaiming in an under tone, she could not do it
either, and that he was no man. Dempsey roused by this observation, took the hatchet, the
third time, went back again to where Sly was sleeping, and, raising his arm, struck the
deceased a dreadful blow on the head, which instantly killed him –They then put on his
leggings and spurs, and carried him out, and threw him at the stable door. Dempsey then got
the pistol, and fired a ball through his head, and another through the door, to make it appear
that t Sly was murdered in some other way.

A full account of the trial is given here and it is well worth a read.


It is worth noting that Walter Sly used to threaten his wife that if he died she would inherit nothing but his will gave her all except £10 to a nephew

So it seems that it was a combination of things that brought it about.

Carlow had a big population of Quakers at the time and some served on the jury - I get the feeling that there was some compassion for her but I would like to know more about her as a person.

They seem like an odd couple and in an area like Carlow were unable to get a female servant.


Back to Ireland after Independence.

After the execution of Mary Daly and her lover in 1903 all 6 women sentenced to death between then and independence had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

The last Irish woman to be hanged was Annie Walsh on August 5, 1925, for killing her husband. She was executed with Michael Talbot for the murder.

Just to get back to some gender balance here- you also had some fairly awful crimes for which the death penalty was handed down.

The last person to be executed in Ireland was Michael Manning, a 25-year-old carter from Limerick

He was sentenced to death for the murder of Catherine Cooper, a 65-year-old nurse on November 18, 1953.


APRIL 20, 1954, Mountjoy: Michael Manning, 24, for the murder by suffocation suffocation: see asphyxia. of Catherine Cooper, 60.

Manning, a carter from Lelia Street, Limerick, was the last person to be hanged in the Republic.

On November 18, 1953, he drunkenly raped and murdered Ms Copper, a nurse, on a dark country road.

Earlier in the day, he had been drinking for several hours in different pubs in Limerick.

He then made a delivery with his cart, put his horse out to graze and started off to walk home.

At Newcastle, just outside Limerick, he saw Ms Cooper walking in front of him.

He followed her for a few minutes, then he suddenly lost control and jumped on her.

Manning pulled the nurse on to the roadside and raped her.

Gardai later asked him why he did it. He replied: "Because I saw her alone."

Manning said he stuffed his victim's mouth with grass to quieten her while he raped her.

Ms Cooper, who worked in St Barrington's Hospital in Limerick, was found with her clothing torn and her underwear removed.

The medical evidence, her death was due to asphyxia asphyxia (ăsfĭk`sēə, deficiency of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the blood and body tissues. Asphyxia, often referred to as suffocation, usually results from an interruption of breathing due to mechanical blockage of the caused by suffocation. She had also lost several teeth.

When Manning was first arrested at his home, he said: "Drink was the cause."

Manning and wife Catherine had been suffering financial difficulties and were forced to live in a caravan.

They managed to buy a home before the murder.

The couple had a child which died shortly after birth.

However, his wife was expecting another baby at the time of the murder.

But after 8am on April 20, 1954, a Mountjoy warder pinned up a notice.

It read: "The sentence of death passed upon Michael Manning was carried in to execution today.

Murder in Navan


Lover shot his mistress as she lay in bed


MARCH 31, 1947: at Mountjoy: Joseph McManus, 41, for the murder of Alice Gerrard

After the murder, Gardai and priests said it was "miraculous" the unlikely pair had ever crossed paths.

Alice Gerrard lived with her mother Mary Scott.At that time Alice's husband . , whom she married in February 1942, was working in England, where he had been for some years.

Joseph McManus was born in Gortoral, Co Fermanagh, in April 1905.

In his youth he was thought to be "very wild".

As soon as he could, he left school, took up farm work, and at the end of 1923 he left to join the British army .

He returned in 1935 and worked for farmers in Fermanagh until the outbreak of war.

McManus then he took up work in Swanlinbar in Cavan. And in 1943 he got married.

A year later, in 1944, he left his wife and child in Swanlinbar and went to work as a farm labourer at Proudstown, Navan.

He stayed there until May 1945, when he started another job as a builders' labourer in Flowerhill.

He had been working for Laurence Rogers, a contractor, and had been living with him in a caravan.

Rogers kept a double-barrelled shotgun and cartridges in his home.

And every Friday he had cleaned the gun in front of McManus and other employees. It was in the course of this employment that McManus came to know Alice. They soon began an affair.

She was a woman "known to be of easy virtue," according to Gardai.

The priests and officers believed there were at least two people in Proudstown who were of "easy virtue" in 1945.

But their affair did not go well. On October 5 Alice went to bed about 11pm with her son.

She went to her daughter's bedroom, lit the lamp, and then saw Alice's lifeless body lying in the bed with her face covered in blood.

She ran to alert neighbours about what had happened.

An investigation showed that Mrs Gerrard had been shot by one discharge of a shotgun at around 2am.

There was evidence of some association between the deceased and McManus, which supplied a motive for the killing.

Pregnant wife poisoned



MARCH 19, 1945, at Mountjoy:

James Herbert (born 8 April, 1943, London) is a best selling English horror writer known for his simple yet compelling Lehman, 45, Canadian ex-soldier, for the murder of his wife, Margaret, 29, by poisoning her with prussic acid prussic acid: see hydrogen cyanide. at 11 Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6.

James Herbert Lehman was born in Washington DC in 1899.

In 1941 he was stationed with the Canadian Expeditionary Force

It was also at Aldershot that Lehman met his third wife, Margaret Hayden, who came from Lippstown, Co Kildare.

They were married in February 1940 and while in England had two children.

In early 1942 he was discharged from the army as medically unfit and in August 1943 the Lehmans came to Ireland.

The couple lived for a few months with Margaret's parents in a labourer's cottage in Co Kildare.

They then went to Dublin where he persuaded colleagues to invest in a shop selling baby foods.

The venture failed and he opened a coffee shop instead.

On March 8, 1944, Lehman bought 150 grains of prussic acid - a deadly poison - from a chemist.

A day or so later in the presence of his shop assistant he ground up a large white crystal into a powder and placed it in a small bottle.

On March 18 his wife, who was in an advanced state of pregnancy, was observed by his landlady to be suffering from a cold. The next evening the landlady asked about Mrs Lehman's health and he said she was feeling giddy.

Just 10 minutes later, he called to her that his wife was violently ill.

She was taken by ambulance to the Rotunda Hospital The Rotunda Hospital (Ospidéal an Rotunda in Irish) is one of the three main maternity hospitals in the city of Dublin, the others being The Coombe and Holles Street. and was found to be dead on arrival.

Examination of the organs revealed that she had died from prussic acid.

Lehman then failed to keep an interview with police.

And on April 14 he was discovered in Monaghan under the name of James McCague.

He was tried three times before being found guilty of murder.

Later he was sentenced to death but appealed against the conviction and sentence.

The appeal failed and the date of execution was fixed for March 19, l945.

Accussed of cheating at cards led to murder



NOVEMBER 24, 1948: at Mountjoy: William Gambon, 28, for the murder of his friend John Long, 39, an English labourer, by hitting him over the head with a bar after a card game .

William Gambon believed that John Long, his friend of five years, was very bad tempered.

But two or three times in the 18 months previous to the murder, Gambon had brought his friend to his home in Dublin from England where he worked.

They kept in touch with each other and Gambon used to meet him when he returned on holidays.

Ten days prior to the killing he had written to Gambon informing him of his needs.

Gambon met him at the boat at Dun Laoghaire.

On Saturday evening, August 21, 1948 at 6:30pm, they took a bus back into Dublin and went to Gambon's home at 5 Upper Abbey Street

Gambon told Long that he had got married and that his wife, who was staying with pals to accommodate Long's visit, was pregnant.

He also explained that they were were in a poor financial position.

Long offered him money, but Gambon didn't like the idea of borrowing money from anyone.

As Gambon was playing cards playing cards, parts of a set or deck, used in playing various games of chance or skill. The origin of playing cards is unknown, and almost as many theories exist as there are historians of the subject. by himself, Long got into bed because he was very tired.

Gambon said he would leave him to rest, but Long wanted him to stay on and play cards with him.

They started playing pontoon pontoon, one of a number of floats used chiefly to support a bridge, to raise a sunken ship, or to float a hydroplane or a floating dock. Pontoons have been built of wood, of hides stretched over wicker frames, of copper or tin sheet metal sheathed over wooden at about a shilling
Gambon had pounds 5 which Long had given him for the use of the room.

After a while they began to play for higher stakes.

Long was beginning to lose, and the game didn't finish until the early hours.

By that time Long had lost about pounds 60 and was angry.

He said Gambon had cheated, that he had worked very hard for the money, and that Gambon should give it back to him. Gambon agreed to give him back half.

But he strongly denied having cheated.

Long refused to accept the half, and started calling Gambon names and he also verbally abused his wife by calling her a prostitute.

A row broke out. Long grabbed Gambon by the throat and Gambon retaliated by hitting him on the head with a bar.

When he realised what he had done, Gambon gave himself up at Store Street Garda station.

He told the authorities: "I took the bar in my hand and pushed him away from me with the bar back in the bed and after that everything went blank.

"But I am sure that I hit him over with the bar as I saw blood and the bar in my hand."


There was a video about Michael Manning on TG4 though I don't see it now


There are several old crime stories here
As always, TG4 do a great job here


Noel & Marie Murray were sentenced to death and as it is said they were getting clemency whether they wanted it or not.

They were anarchists and killed an off duty garda

Programme 2: Garda Michael Reynolds

Garda Michael Reynolds was the third garda to be killed in the era of the troubles. He was shot dead in St Anne's Park after a bank robbery in September 1975. He had been off duty, out shopping with his wife and daughter when he came across the raiders' getaway car. He fearlessly pursued the raiders and caught up with them in the park where he was brutally gunned down within earshot of his family.
Marie and Noel Murray were later convicted of his capital murder, initially sentenced to death. On appeal and retrial they were convicted of murder and received the lesser sentence of life imprisonment. They later took an unsuccessful constitutional case for conjugal rights in prison.

Vera Reynolds, widow of Garda Michael Reynolds

Noel and Marie Murray

Here is an excerpt from an anarchist book on-line and of course very little mention is given to the victim here.

When the Irish resistance group had carried out a number of spectacular attacks such as those on the American and Spanish embassies, they turned to raising money by armed bank robbery, influenced by the whole record of diehard anti-State resistance which the Irish establishment enshrined as part of the national myth. They were heroic but unlucky and by the chance that inevitably accompanies such circumstances were arrested and jailed. How the Irish press howled for vengeance as a few young people were taken into custody and given savage sentences for a few illegal acts that did not entail killing. Never mind the IRA, these were self-confessed Anarchists! In Dublin! How terrible!
The group who were arrested were charged with bank robberies, but nonetheless tried by a juryless court and confined in a military barracks reserved for political prisoners, though denied political status. Noel Murray jumped bail and he and his wife carried on the struggle.
Noel and Marie Murray had collected money for the Black Cross (quite legally -- some of it was stolen by the Government when they were arrested) and so I knew them. I could have found them asylum if they had chosen to escape, as was easy at first provided they could get through the "Berlin Wall" of English Customs. I arranged a place for them to stay and work in Paris. It would have been hard for the Irish authorities to ask for extradition since they themselves ostensibly opposed it in far less overtly political cases than this.
The plan was crushed by Noel and Marie themselves. Noel wrote that he did not think revolutionaries should leave their own country in this fashion, having regard to the consequent ineffectiveness to that country by thousands who had done so. In the course of another bank raid, a plain clothes policeman intervened. Marie, blind as a bat without her recognisable thick glasses, and having dropped her unaccustomed lenses, fired and accidentally killed him.
Taken to a station, Noel and Ronan Stenson, arrested with them, were beaten and tortured so badly that Ronan was not in a fit state to be charged next day. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he was freed. Marie, in the next cell, confessed to the killing to get the police to stop beating Noel, pointing out the two had not been concerned in her careless act.
Noel and Marie were charged with capital murder (murder of a policeman, as distinct from that of anyone rated much lower in the free and equal republic). Both were sentenced to be hanged (June 1976), but Noel's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Worldwide protests were caused by the death sentence on Marie, who had accidentally shot a policeman in plain clothes. Even Jean-Paul Sartre came to Dublin to protest at the sentence. The hypocritical Conor Cruise O'Brien, the English establishment's greatest living Irishman, stammered apologies for his government to hostile audiences in France. Finally the sentence on Marie was also changed to life imprisonment.
Conor Brady, writing in the Irish Times (10 December, 1976), not only named the "Anarchist connection" but the Black Cross specifically, finishing his peroration with the statement that "undoubtedly Noel Murray started out as an idealistic young man. The question is at what stage did he trade in his principles of peaceful protest and take up guns? And perhaps more important, who gave him the guns and taught him how to use them?"



feelingstressed said:
There was a video about Michael Manning on TG4 though I don't see it now


There are several old crime stories here
As always, TG4 do a great job here

They do - do you have any more .


Here is an interesting Dublin Historical Society piece from the lorist Patrick Byrne which includes miscellany on executions by John Toler - Lord Norbury who sentenced Emmet to death also was a working hanging judge who was cursed by the widow of one of his statistics.

Prisons and ghost stories go together.




Queens County Murder from the files of the Leinster Express


Horrid Murder in Queens County

[From the Atlas, Oct 6.]

Ballina Chronicle
Ballina, Mayo, Ireland

Wednesday, Oct 10, 1849

A correspondent of the Leinster Express gives the following narrative of a frightful crime committed in that province. His letter is dated Tolerton, Saturday evening;—

"I have just attended an inquest in case of murder, compared to which in atrocity that of the Mannings sinks into the shade. It is not usual to have to record such darkly demonaic traits in the Irish character as that unfolded at this inquest, especially among the female portion of our peasant class, whose demeanour for modesty and womanly reserve has elicited warm eulogium from writers of every class and every country. The murdered in the present instance was husband, the murderess wife. She has not only been pronounced guilty by a coroner's jury, but has fully confessed her participation in the terrible tragedy.”
In order to give the foul transaction in the smallest space, I condense the evidence.

The Peasant and the Peasant Girl

Catherine Thompson, an interesting peasant girl was wedded sometime ago to a person in her own class of life, named Patrick Moore. The marriage was not a happy one; the wife's prettiness had won her many admirers; and the result was, that a casual separation took place; the husband went to live with a relative of his, named Brennan, while the wife remained with her mother, at Tulla, in the Ballickmoyler district. Moore left for America, but on reaching Liverpool, he could not divest himself sufficiently of his feelings for home to prosecute his voyage; so he returned. On Sunday, the 2d of September, Catherine Moore sent out a young woman named Julia King over to Brennan's to her husband with a message, the substance of which was that she wished to see him on that evening. He came punctual to the assignation. Between ten and eleven o'clock on that night he was seen by two men leaning against a ditch, at the back of his mother-in-law's house in company with his wife.

A Letter from America or was it ?

After this night he was not seen or heard of in the neighborhood; he did not return to Brennan's; but a rumour was set afloat that he had left for America; and the following Sunday Mrs. Moore left Tulla for the ostensible purpose of joining him in Liverpool, in order that they might proceed together to New York. After she left, vague reports were circulated through the village, the people surmised strange things, and asked why the wife did not accompany her husband. These indications of the feelings of the neighborhood having reached H.B. Warburton, Esq., the Sub-Inspector, at Ballickmoyler, that gentleman immediately made particular inquiry into the matter and had the several coal pits in the district dragged but without any successful result.- While he was thus engaged a letter reached from a brother of Mrs. Moore, who resides at Dundalk. It purported that the writer had seen his sister and her husband off from Dublin on their way to America; that they were in good health and seemed perfectly reconciled to each other.

An Inspector Calls

This removed any lingering suspicion which remained on the mind of the intelligent sub-inspector. Thus matters remained until word was brought him, on Wednesday evening, that the body of a man, or something like it, was seen in a hole in the centre of the lonely bog of Rossmore, and the dogs had been devouring portions of it. He forthwith proceeded to the place pointed out, on Wednesday night; and in the middle of the lonely and wild bog of Rossmore, he perceived, by the glimpse of the moon, a mangled arm protruding from the depths of the bog-side. A stick was procured, the body was stirred, when a most revolting spectacle presented itself. A human head started out of the water; the nose and one of the cheeks had been cut off, the eyes were gone, and the face was otherwise fearfully mutilated. On examination the limbs were found to be very much mangled, and the body in a state of putrescence and decomposition.

To remove these hedious remains of mortality was a matter impracticable at that hour of the night with the assistance Mr. Warburton had; so he left his companion to keep watch while he drove off to Tulla, which was seven miles distant, it having struck him that the mutilated body in the bog must have been that of the missing Patrick Moore. When he reached Moore's mother-in-law's house, he made fresh inquiry as to where Mrs. Moore and her husband were; the confusion and prevarication that ensued confirmed him in his idea of there being foul play. He then secured the attendance of a person who knew Patk. Moore, and could identify the body, if it was his. On returning to Rossmore bog with this man and a reinforcement of police, they raised the body out of the hole; while doing so, it fell into piece meal, and the loathsome members had to be placed in bags. The remains were immediately identified. On being removed towards Tulla, it was met by a procession of colliers, who placed the fragments of the body in a coffin, and bore it onward with marks of deep sorrow for their murdered comrade.
Wife, Mother, Sister & Brother in Law Arrested

I omitted to mention that in the morning, a sub-inspector had placed the mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the deceased man under arrest. A jury having been collected, the body was viewed by them, and after a minute examination by Dr Samuel Edge, it was consigned to mother earth.
The assistance of the coroner, Thomas Budds, Esq., could not be procured until to-day (Saturday) his duties in Mountmellick and elsewhere having precluded his attendance at Tolerton sooner. The jury having been sworn, held the inquest at Grave's public-house. Several witnesses were examined, and from them were elicited the facts just stated. The most remarkable part of this dark tragedy remains to be told. Never was the mysterious ways of Providence made more manifest in bring retribution home to the heartless murderer in this case. On the morning of the inquest who should return from Liverpool than Catherine Moore; she had come home with a pitiful tale of how her unnatural and brutal husband had deserted her on the quay of Liverpool, leaving her a lonely and unfortunate woman to beg her way home. Her astonishment-her horror, on hearing of the discovery of the mutilated remains of her husband, operated so strongly on her feelings, that she confessed her guilt, and all the appalling circumstances connected with it. It seems Moore's brains were beaten out on the night he was last seen with his wife; and that on the next day this wretched woman and her mother dislocated the limbs, so as that they may be fitted on an ass's car-being concealed by straw, they then proceeded to Rossmore bog, which was seven miles distant, and in the loneliest part of that lonely place they flung their gore-clotted burden into an unclean hole.

Mother and Daughter Commited for Trial

The jury, after some brief deliberations, found a verdict of wilful murder against Catherine Moore and Bridget Thompson, mother and daughter.
Mr. Budds drew up a committal for them accordingly, and they are to be transmitted to the county jail at Maryborough, there to await for trial until next spring assizes. The principal evidence against these wretched women will be supplied by two persons connected with them by the closest ties of sanguinity.
In closing this report, so illustrative of how far truth may be stranger even than fiction, it is but justice towards the sub-inspector, Mr. Warburton, to remark that his exertions in pursuing this horrible tragedy through all its dark details, deserve the highest commendation. On expressing our astonishment at the coincidence of the women, after an absence of nearly four weeks returning to the very spot where 12 men were holding an inquest on the putrid remains of the man whom she had murdered, we were informed that Mr. Warburton, not being able to discharge from his mind the impression of Moore's murder, wrote to the man with whom he had stopped during the previous trip to Liverpool, and who had been a friend of his, to ask if he and his wife had arrived safe? and inquiring if he was aware of their getting off to America as the neighbors were anxious to hear of their welfare. Mrs. Moore happened to be at the time and inmate of this very lodging-house at Liverpool; the man read the letter for her. She expressed her uneasiness and said she should return home, as something must have happened to poor Pat. She accordingly left Liverpool for Tolerton and reached at the very crisis when her presence was necessary for the fulfilment of the ends of justice.--Leinster Express.

The Case, Defence & Verdict

Their marriage had failed and they were living apart – but for Catherine Moore that wasn’t enough. She wanted vengeance on her husband Patrick. With honeyed words, the promise of a good bottle of Irish whisky, and a sharp knife concealed in her blouse, she lured him to a stretch of lonely bogland and murdered him.
Patrick Moore’s body was found a month later, by which time his wife had fled to England. But when the police arrested her mother and sister and charged them with the murder, Catherine returned to Ireland to face the rap.
She and her mother, Mrs. Bridget Thompson, were brought to trial in March 1850, when Catherine pleaded guilty to murder and her mother was given a life sentence for being an accessory after the fact.
Catherine told the court that her husband had made her life a living hell, because he was always drunk and violent. The evidence suggested that the murder was carefully premeditated. She had plied him with whisky to get him drunk, then stabbed him, and finally strangled him. She was hanged on Thursday, April 11th, 1850, outside Maryborough Prison. The town of Maryborough was renamed Portlaoise after partition in 1922.

The Sentence

Date - 11/04/1850
Name - Catherine Moore
Place of execution - Maryborough
Crime - Murder - husband


MarchDub said:
Are you referring to Brehon Law? It was in common usage in Ireland until 1603 - in spite of various previous attempts to ban it. It was a system based, among other things, on paid compensation - and not prisons.

Something that has always confused me has been about the death penalty at Brehon law.

But it did and there were procedures where a person could be lawfully killed.

Here is something I have come accross.

Eric or Compensation Fine.—Homicide or bodily injury of any kind was atoned for by a fine called Eric [errick]. The injured person brought the offender before a brehon, by whom the case was tried and the exact amount of the eric was adjudged. Many modifying circumstances had to be taken into account—the actual injury, the rank of the parties, the intention of the wrong-doer, the provocation, the amount of set-off claims, &c.—so that the settlement called for much legal knowledge, tact, and technical skill on the part of the brehon—quite as much as we expect in a lawyer of the present day.
In case of homicide the family of the victim were entitled to the eric. If the culprit did not pay, or absconded, leaving no property, his finè or family were liable. If he refused to come before a brehon, or if, after trial, the eric fine was not paid by him or his family, then he might be lawfully killed. The eric for bodily injury depended, to some extent, on the "dignity" of the part injured: if it was the forehead, or chin, or any other part of the face, the eric was greater than if the injured part was covered by raiment. Half the eric for homicide was due for the loss of a leg, a hand, an eye, or an ear; but in no case was the collective eric for such injuries to exceed the "body-fine"—i.e. the eric for homicide.
The principle of compensation for murder and for unintentional homicide existed among the Anglo-Saxons, as well as among the ancient Greeks, Franks, and Germans. In the laws of the English king Athelstan, there is laid down a detailed scale of prices to be paid in compensation for killing persons of various ranks of society, from an archbishop or duke down to a churl or farmer; and traces of the custom remained in English law till the early part of the last century.

How the death penalty was practiced

Modes of Punishment.—There was no such thing as a sentence of death passed by a brehon in a court of law, no matter what the crime was: it was always compensation; and the brehon's business was to determine the amount. Capital punishment was known well enough, however, and practised, outside the courts of law. Kings claimed the right to put persons to death for certain crimes. Thus we are told, in the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, that neither gold nor silver would bo accepted from him who lighted a fire before the lighting of the festival fire of Tara, but he should be put to death; and the death-penalty was inflicted on anyone who, at a fair-meeting, killed another or raised a serious quarrel. We have seen that if for any cause homicide was not atoned for by eric, then the criminal's life was forfeit.

Methods of execution /punishment under Brehon law

Various modes of putting criminals to death were in use in ancient Ireland. Sometimes they were hanged. Sometimes the culprit was drowned by being flung into water, either tied up in a sack or with a heavy stone round his neck.
Where the death penalty was not inflicted for a crime, various other modes of punishment were resorted to, though never as the result of a judicial process before a brehon. Blinding as a punishment was very common, not only in Ireland but among many other nations. A very singular punishment was to send the culprit adrift on the open sea in a boat, without sail, oar, or rudder; as, for instance, in case of homicide, if it was unintentional. A person of this kind cast on shore belonged to the owner of the shore until a cumal was paid for his release.


I just wonder if there are written sources with examples of these.

Behon Ireland was not such a hippy loved up place as some like to portray.

mathepac Banned

Eamonster said:
... I must have a look for the graveyard in Merrion Row, because that's where Darkey (or Dorcas) Kelly was buried back in the 1760s.
That was my neck of the woods and the only cemetery I remember on Merrion Row is the 17th Century Heugenot Cemetery beside the Shelbourne, directly across the road from the Bank of Ireland (whose official address is given as St. Stephen's Green although the building is on the corner of Merrion Row and St. Stephen's Green).

As a kid I was told there was a place of execution and a burial site around Ely Place (turn right off Merrion Row heading for Baggot Street) bit I've never been able to trace it.

There's any number of candidates for a Gallows Hill (which I've never heard of in the locality) as the land and the canal locks follow the drops, dips and slopes from Dolphin's Barn all the way down to the Grand Canal Basin.

Travelling from St. Stephen's Green via Merrion Rom and Lower Baggot Street to Baggot Street Bridge there's a gradual rise until you dip down sharply into Upper Baggot Street and on down into Pembroke Road, so more potential candidates that way.

Another bit of information which seems to further evidence foe the location of the gallows hil / mount - "The name of Mount Street is thought to have been derived from a mound which once stood at the corner of Fitzwilliam and Baggot Street, where a gallows was erected for the execution of criminals. The name Baggot comes from the medieval Manor of Baggotrath, owned by the Bagods" - http://www.peppercanister.ie/history/

Eamonster Registered User

Ely Place? You know the Danes when they first came here in the 8th and 9th centuries, erected a gallows east of Stephen's Green so it could have been around there.
I think you're right about the Hugeonot cemetary being the candidate for Kelly's resting place.
And that reference from Pepper Cannister history would be spot on for the location of the Gallows, because I compared Rocque's map of 1759 with a modern map of Dublin and the gallows would have been around the Baggot Street and Fitzwilliam Street crossroads. Some people say it was around Lad Lane but I think that's a bit off the mark.
There was also a hanging tree in Stephen's Green of all places. Imagine going there for a public execution and then feeding the ducks and grabbing a coffee afterwards? Ah yes, all in a Sunday's afternoon ramble in order to get away from the grim reality of life ;o)


Here is an article from 1879 New York Times describing Irish Public Executions that the writer had witnessed in his youth.

The writer told his audience that they had become squeamish and told his readers how a condemned mans legs were smashed on a bothched first attempt so they hauled him back up on the gallows , sat him on a chair , and hanged him again.


    DUBLIN, Aug. 30. As death by the hands of the common hangman becomes a less common occurrence among us, we are growing more and more squeamish as to the manner in which criminals are hurried into eternity according to law. Time was, and not so very long ago...


    Full Article Here


    Read about the execution of an army pensioner in 1868 for murdering a prostitute where the story went around that an amateur hangman (a doctor) tested a small rope which decapitated the prisoner.

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