Saturday, 7 March 2015

1843 - Inquest, Patrick Greally, Cahermorris, Turloughmore Fair Riot

On the 19th inst., a coroner's inquest as to the cause of the death of Patrick Greally, of Cahermorris, who had died from the effects of a gun-shot wound received on the 1st inst., at the fair of Turloughmore, county Galway, was held in the town of Galway Court-house.,

Thomas Husheon examined - Was about fifteen perches from the fair, and saw deceased on the bridge crossing the fair green about six o'clock in the evening, but nothing the matter with him; in a quarter of an hour after he saw him at the corner of the bridge leading to Corbally, and he appeared very lame, and was bleeding from the hip; deceased stated that he was stooping by the wall of the bridge, when some persons said the police were coming from Qualter's side; he the looked in that direction, and saw a policeman from Aughcloheen, named Horne, who fired at, and wounded him; he said he knew the policeman well, as he was stationed but two miles and a quarter from where deceased resided; did not see him get the shot, but saw two shots fired while on the bridge; did not see deceased in any row or fight that day, but he could have been unknown to witness; saw fighting at the fair late enough that day; when the policeman came up to where it was, witness turned in to a gap at the Turlough, about ten or eleven yards distant, and it was only about fifteen minutes after when he heard the shots; there was no fighting when the firing began, nor while it continued; knows Horne, and saw him at the fair; it was a quarter of an hour between the first and last shot; witness was on the rising to the bridge when the firing commenced, and swears there was no rioting or fighting for a quarter of an hour before; saw the flash from the first shot, but no other; the policemen who fired the shots when he was in it, were out from Qualter's, in front of the gable end; did not see them face the guns in any direction; deceased told him when he saw him that he was shot, and that it was Horne that shot him; witness is married to a cousin of the deceased; heard no orders for firing; saw a person there who he was told was Mr. Brew, but did not see him do anything; deceased said he was going away after the people said the police were coming when he was shot.

Dr. Andrew Veitch, surgeon to the County Infrimary, examined - Recollects deceased being brought to the infirmary, labouring under the effects of a gun shot wound received in the right hip; he died on the eleventh, and was received in on the third; did not extract the ball until after death; has no doubt but he died of the wound.

Eleanor Morris sworn - Lives at Cahermorris; deceased was her son; she was not at the fair; her son informed her that as he was stooped down to protect himself, the grey-headed policeman of Aughclogheen shot him.

The Coroner said had no evidence then beyond what had been tendered, and read it over to the jury. He also said that anything deceased might have stated unless under the conviction he was dying could not be received as evidence on the case. 

The jurors demanded that further exertions be made to procure evidence, and in consequence the coroner ajourned to yesterday, the 22d instant,

The inquest was again resumed at eleven on yesterday. Pat Tigue was examined - Knew Patrick Grearly of Cahermorris; saw him last alive the fair day at Turloughmore; was within five or six yards in front of the deceased on the bridge when he was shot; witness was nearer than the deceased to the police; there was no riot or fighting then; did not see many people near Qualter's, when police went there; saw one of the police fall on going there, but does not now what caused it; did not take notice of any person about the policeman; never knew Grealy to be in a quarrel; when he was wounded he had his back turned to the police; there were not many people on the bridge at all when the firing took place; it was more than half a quarter of an hour after he saw the policeman down when the firing took place; when the firing commenced the fair was quite peaceable, and there was no people near Qualter's except the people on the bridge; thinks the policeman was running when he fell, and does not know but it was the rising of the ground at the place that tripped him; was between twenty and thirty yards from the policeman when he fell, and was the nearest of any person to him.

Patt Burke sworn in Irish - Was at the fair of Turloughmore; did not see Patrick Grealy there, and does not know him; was there near a tent of Andrew Husheon's when the firing commenced; he saw a man fall who he heard was Callaghan; there was a riot shortly before the firing commenced; it was neither a half hour nor a quarter of an hour after when the police came to the gable end of Qualter's house and began to fire across the green; he saw William Horne, whom he knows well, firing in advance of the other police, and the moment witness saw the smoke from Horne's gun he observed Callaghan fall on his back; the police only ran from where they were to Qualter's, when they came out and fired; the people did not follow them out of the fair; the police were beaten at the fair; saw no stones thrown at Qualter's house while the police were there; over twenty shots were fired; others as well as Horne were firing when Callaghan fell, but thinks it was Horne shot him; the man who was shot was wounded in the head; did not go to see him at that time, but saw him afterwards with his uncle.

The case here closed, and the jury retired to deliberate on their verdict. In about three quarters of an hour the following was delivered to the coroner: - 
"That on Wednesday, the 1st day of August, in the year aforesaid, at Turloughmore, in the parish of Lacka, and county of Galway, the said Pat Grealy, then and there being on his lawful business, did receive one mortal gun-shot wound on the right hip, of which he, the said Pat Grealy, from the said first day of August until the 11th of August, did languish, and on latter mentioned day did die; and said jurors further find and say that the said gun-shot wound was inflicted on the said Pat Grealy but one of a party of police engaged in firing on the people at Turloughmore aforesaid, on the said first day of August, and that the said party of police were not then and there justified in firing on the people; and said jurors therefore find that said party of police are guilty of wilful murder." -Galway Vindicator.
The Freeman's Journal, 25 August 1843.

Link to Lackagh Museum's page on the Fair of Turloughmore.

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