Limerick General Advertiser

7 November 1815

Thursday — Second Day.
High-way Robbery, most outrageous.
The King v. FITZGERALD and others

  On the 7th of September last, the following most audacious robbery and assault, by putting in bodily fear, knocking down, and wounding the prosecutors, Richard FITZGERALD and John BURN, farmers near Castle-Oliver, in this county, at the hour of one o'clock at noon of that day, against FITZGERALD abd his several accomplices— The prisoners were stated to be armed with a blunderbuss and guns, the former of which was found in a twig yard, a great distance from the place of the outrage and robbery, while some of the culprits were detected and secured in a corn-field in a different direction— the prosecutors having had the happy preesence of mind, on see the robbers running up the hill from the valley wherein the crime was committed, towards Castle-Oliver, to follow them in that direction and go to the mansion of the meritorious owner of that castle, and to acquaint him with the horrible deed, not without the most splendid, and to that gentleman's great praise, most fortunate result, in the apprehension and security of the robbers, notwithstanding the most desperate efforts at personal and violent resistance, interposed by the fugatives to their pursuers.
  Mr. OLIVER most judiciously laid down a plan of pursuit, by himself, Mr. LOWE and Others, in so many different directions throughout the country, that no possibility of escape remained for the fugative felons, who were secured by their pursuers, at the risk of their lives most gallantly.  There were many witnesses examined in corroboration of this statement, by Mr. Solicitor-General, Mr. Serjeant JOY, Mr. KELLER, Mr. LLOYD, chairman of the county, and PENEFATHER on behalf of the crown, in the course of which long examination it fully appeared, that the prisoners, being five in number, were respectively and separately identified by the different witnesses, who ere personally engaged in the apprehension of the prisoners, separately and respectively, one of whom had presented a blunderbuss at the constable LYNCH, in the corn field, whereupon the brave veteran, who lost an arm in the siege of Badajos, replied “ that death had no terrors for him, while in the service of his King, in apprehending a felon whom they thus secured and disarmed,”
  Mr. Solicitor General made a brief but impressive comment on the pecular enormity and wickedness of this case, in which it appeared that the profligate and idle were desperate enough to attempt, with temporary success, the possession, through the crime of robbery, of the fruits of hard industry, from those honest and laborious farmers, the prosecutors, then returning from Cork market, with the prices of their grain, being respectively possessed of 33 4s. 4d. and 27— contained in pocket books, that were produced, with the notes, &c. therein respectively identified.
  The case was completely established by a chain of circumstantial and positive testimony that left no doubt in the mind of any man living, now hearing the case, of the prisoners guilt.
  Mr. HOWLEY cross-examined the witnesses on the part of the prisoners, but called no witnesses on their behalf.
  Mr. Serjeant JOHNSON delivered an able and clear charge to the Jury, recapitulating the whole evidence and leaving it to their sound discrettion as a Jury question.
  The Jury immediately, and without retiring, returned a verdict of Guilty— The learned Serjeant then pronounced the aweful sentance of the law on Philip TOUHY, William O'BRIEN, Edward FITZGERALD, and John JAQUES—to be hanged at Kilfinan, on Thursday, the 9th Instant.

© Nick Reddan 2006

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