the Curragh in 1903
Under the heading Man Brutally Beaten to Death: Shocking
Murder. The Leinster Leader of 29 August 1903 reported the
finding of the mutilated body of a man on the Curragh, near
Brownstown, earlier that week.
The story was that two labourers, Patrick Downes and Thomas
Cullen, known as Tom the Tailor, who shared
lodgings at Brownstown, had the previous night been drinking
in Duffs of Brownstown, and on leaving they carried
three bottles of porter in a brown paper parcel. The next
morning was found A shocking and indeed gruesome spectacle,
a dead man, and mingled with the debris of broken porter
bottles was the battered and mutilated remnant, the terrible
caricature of a human head.
The inquest returned a verdict of murder. The Leader deplored
the fact that there had been double murder at Newbridge
the previous week was a Dark Blot on the fair fame of a
pacific district. Even the phlegmatic officers of the law
may well be pardoned by the amazement that must have been
theirs on finding the Capital Crime repeated within the
same radius of three miles in the course of a brief week.
Better news was the editorial on the visit of the king to
Maynooth: In the circumstance attending the visit
to Maynooth, there were many elements highly gratifying
to the Catholic feeling. His Majesty, as far as Court etiquette
permitted, exhibited special consideration for Catholic
sentiment and a strong desire to establish the most cordial
relations with priests and people. His words paid a high
compliment to the intellectual eminence and loveable qualities
of the Irish race. His action in singling out Maynooth for
a special visit is a clear proclamation that he is no sectary,
and no partisan, and that the state of affairs which renders
Royalty in Ireland a Party asset, has his profound antipathy.
From Athy Petty Sessions came the complaint that Mrs
ONeill, the abbey, had at the towns Agricultural
Show Ground, taken and converted to her own use, one hen,
the property of Mary Cranny, Athy, and which took first
place at the show.
The case was withdrawn. Another woman in trouble was Mary
Quinn, described as a Virago. Drunk and disorderly at St.
Johns Lane at mid-night, she was described as rather
degraded looking, when she appeared in court in her
Though she assured the bench of her respectability and peaceful
disposition, Sgt Brady said she was very riotous and gave
a lot of trouble, and that he had to get a cart to wheel
her to the barrack. Sir A.A. Weldon chairman of the court.
pronounced We will put you in a place where you will
have to obstain from it, and sentenced her to a week
A father was jailed for 14 days at Naas, after a neighbour
gave evidence that on the Fair night his three children
had come to her house and told her that their father was
drunk in bed and gave them no supper. A policeman said he
had been to the house and there was no food, nor a fire
in the grate. The fact that the mans wife had
died some time since was not taken into account.
There was also trouble in Blessington, according to the
Chairman of the Petty Sessions. His complaint was that in
view of the great increase in the number of cycles and motor
bicycles, some rule should be made for the protection of
people walking the footpaths in the locality, and that the
constabulary should look to it.
The Sergeant supposed that it is only necessary to
put the rule into effect where there is much traffic,
to which the Chairman quipped: Oh,of course, it is
not wanted at the Sally Gap (laughter).
That the Leinster Leader was scrupulous about the veracity
of its reporting was evident in a report headed: Painful
Eviction Scene in Kilcock. We have received a typewritten
report bearing the above heading. Neither the name nor address
of the author is given. It is not the practice of this Journal
to pay any attention to anonymous communications.
Courtesy of the Leinster Leader
By Con Costello