Freeman's Journal

28 January 1848

Terrible Catastrophe in Roscommon
(from our correspondent.)

Thursday Morning

  I hasten to appraise you of a melancholy event which has thrown this district into a state of unwonted excitement. It appears that on yesterday one of the coroners of the county Roscommon, Mr. PEYTON, proceeded to execute a law process, issued by one of the superior courts at the suit of Mr. George CHURCH, of Carrick-on-Shannon, against Herbert Kelly WALDRON, Esq. J.P. of Ashfort, near Drumsna. The coroner was accompanied by some bailiffs and a number of the police force, but on reaching the gate entrance was met by Mr. WALDRON, who, with his son and a considerable number of retainers, stood inside armed, and in an attutude of defence. The gate was closed, and the coroner demanded admission, which was premptorily refused, Mr. WALDRON, as I understand, stating that he had "but one lefe, was an old man, and valued it little." the coroner explained that he should preform his duty, and remonstrated against the folly of resistance.But the ill-fated Mr. Waldron could not be brought to reason. Two of the coroner's men, after some further parley, proceeded to apply crowbars to the gate with a view to force it, when Mr. WALDRON fired from within through the bars wounding one of the men. The police immediately fired (whether by order of the coroner or not, I cannot say), when the affray became general, and no less than twelve to fifteen shots were exchanged through the gate Mr. WALDRON received one ball in the forehead, and fell lifeless to the ground; several of his retainers were, I am informed, wounded, as also some of the police. The son of Mr. WALDRON, a lad about fifteen years of age, was taken prisoner, and is now, I believe, confined in the county gaol. Mr. WALDRON was an aged man, about fifty-five, of extravagant habits, and much embarrassed. I writ these lines in haste, but I send you all the leading facts, so far as they have yet transpired.

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