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Donated Material: Court Reports and Legal Records (including Evictions)

Murder at Tubber donated by Paddy Casey

Freeman's Journal Newpaper 20th March 1873 (PDF)

Clare Journal Newspaper 17th March 1873

A man named McCarthy who lived at Tulla, and who took a farm some time ago in the neighbourhood of Tubber was killed about 5 o'clock on the evening of Friday last in a brutal manner. He did not live on the farm, but had come there to superintend a number of men employed in ploughing his fields on Friday, and was found dead on his own farm. A man named Howard and his two sons are in custody charged with the murder. Howard had previously possessed a portion of the land now occupied by McCarthy, and it is supposed this may have had something to do with the murder. The constabulary were quickly on the spot and are making investigations. A hatchet, with which the deceased, who was a strong powerful young man, had been working all day, was lying on the ground near him, and the blood found upon it left no doubt that it was the weapon with which the murder had been committed. Though the man was killed on Friday the body was not discovered till yesterday, as his friends, believing him to be still at the farm, had no suspicion of his untimely death.


Clare Journal Newspaper 20th March 1873

Mr.John Cullinan, Bindon Street, held an inquest on Monday, on the man Patrick McCarthy, near Tubber, where the murder took place. There were present Mr.French, R.M.Gort, and Mr.Henry, Sub-inspector.

The first witness examined was Patrick Howard, a boy of twelve years of age, son of the prisoner. Denis Quirke, priest's clerk, Mrs. Fogarty, from whom the deceased borrowed the hatchet, and Dr.William Cullinan, County Infirmary, were also examined.

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased was wilfully and maliciously murdered by some person or persons unknown between Friday and Sunday afternoon.

There being no charge against the prisoners they were released from the coroner's custody,but were at once arrested by the constabulary.

A searching investigation was held on Tuesday and yesterday by the stipendiary magistrates which resulted in committing the three prisoners to custody.

The inquest at Crusheen had not terminated before going to press.Evidence is to be given of a bloody vest found in the use of the prisoners. It is considered that they will be committed.


Clare Journal Newspaper 24th March 1873

The investigation by the magistrates at Crusheen into the circumstances of the murder of Patrick McCarthy, near Tubber was conducted in private. Capt. W.C. Hamilton, R.M., and Mr French, R.M. of Gort were present. The chief point against the prisoners appears to have been the production of a vest supposed to be stained with blood, and which had been found in Howard's house by Subinspector Madders, of Corofin. Evidence was also given to show that threats of vengeance had been uttered against the McCarthy family if they would persevere in taking the disputed farm. The investigation closed about 6 o'clock. The prisoners were remanded for eight days and were conveyed to the gaol here under escort of the Crusheen constabulary.


Clare Journal Newspaper 27th March l873

This morning the prisoners Howard and his two sons were escorted by the Constabulary to Crusheen, and were brought before magistrates at the Petty Sessions - Captain W. C. Hamilton, R.M. and Mr. French, R.M.,Gort. They were further remanded fill the Crusheen Petty Sessions again later this week.


Clare Journal Newspaper Thursday 20th March 1873

The dreadful tragedy, which took place near Tubber in this county, and which had not been discovered until Saturday last, has appalled people throughout the entire length and breath of the country. It was one of those catastrophes which are known by the name of Agrarian Outrages, and owed its origin as a result to disputed tenure of land. The victim in the present case was a very fine man, named Patrick McCarthy, about four-and-twenty years of age, whose brother had taken the farm, near which he had been murdered, with a view to settling down there, and discharging the duties of his position in a manner at once conductive to his own requirements and those of society. This determination on the part of the elder brother proved a mere delusion or rather a fatal spark, which his younger brother Patrick had then been lured to his fate, for the day he entered his career of usefulness and industry, to mind and cultivate his brothers farm, was the day that terminated his existence. It is difficult to ascertain what had been the relations of the parties concerned in the dismal farm, or what the exact nature of their quarrel had been, but it is admitted on all hands the victim of this horrible outrage concerned that his brother had the quite and agreable possession of the land, as well from former tenants as from the landlord. He was morover decieved, and he has fallen a sacrifice of a cold brutal and dastardly spirit of rage, but too often exemplified in the results of agrarian crime in this country. For the demands and protection of society, that every effort should be made to find the hand of the assassin, and to render the people superior to the reckless passion for outrage which sometimes stains the character of our peasantry in cases of agrarian disputes. There can be no doubt of a heavy award on the district at the next Assizes, on account of this diabolical crime, which, we trust will be the last to tarnish the reputation of one of the most peaceable and industrious counties of Ireland.

The body of the unfortunate man McCarthy, who was murdered near Tubber, was followed to Tulla graveyard on Tuesday by a very large assemblage of friends.


Clare Journal Newspaper 3rd April l873

I Hereby offer a Reward from £100 to £300 for Private Information, which may be communicated to me either by letter or in any other way which may assist me in bringing to justice the principal Person or Persons guilty of the Murder of Patrick McCarthy, at Coolbane, in the Barony of Inchiquin, in the County of Clare, on the 14th March, 1873. And I promise, when the information is found true, that a sum of money proportionate to its value shall be privately sent in any way, or left in any place which the informant may wish. I take this course to prevent the discovery of any person giving me information.

Signed: W. M. Cole Hamilton,
Resident Magistrate Ennis, 24th March 1873

Notice under the Peace Preservation ( Ireland) Act, 1870.

Clare Journal Newspaper 9th June 1873

COUNTY OF CLARE-} Notice is here by given, that my son, Patrick Mc Carthy, late of Uggoon, in the County of Clare, farmer, was murdered on or about the l 4th day of March last at Coolbane, in the Parish of Kilkeedy, Barony of Inchiquin, and County of Clare, that said murder is of the character commonly known as agrarian, and that I will at the next assizes to be held in Ennis, in and for the County of Clare apply to the grand jury of said county for a Presentment for the sum of One Thousand Two Hundred Pounds a compensation for the loss of my said son, the said Patrick McCarthy, and that said sum of One Thousand Two Hundred Pounds may be levied at the discretion of said Grand Jury of the said County of Clare-at-Large, the said Barony of Inchiquin, or the Townland of Coolbane in which such murder was committed, or any Barony or Baronies, half Barony or half Baronies, Townland or Townlands, or part or parts of any Barony, or- Baronies, half Barony or half Baronies, Townland or Townlands in the County of Clare, at the discretion of said Grand Jury, and as they shall direct.
Dated this 5th day of June 1873.

JOHN McCARTHY of Uggoon, in the County of Clare, Farrner, Next of Kin and Personal Representative of the said Patrick McCarthy.

Clare Journal Newspaper Monday 7th July 1873

The application of John McCarthy, Uggoon for £1,200 compensaoon for the murder of his son Patrick McCarthy, near Tubber, in March last, was considered and £500 granted, to be levied of the townland of Coolbawn. A meeting is fixed to be held in the Grand Jury room to-morrow at two o'clock to express abhorrens of the murder.


Clare Journal Newspaper Thursday 10th July 1873


The judges, the Right Hon. Baron Deasy and the Hon. Mr. Morris arrived at four o'clock on Monday evening. They were met at the railway station by Cornelius A. Keogh, Esq., High Sheriff and Mr. O'Gorman, Sub Sheriff, and drove at once to their lodging in Bindon Street, escorted by the constabulary.

Their Lordships almost immediately after drove to the Court House to open the Commission for the County.

The Grand Jury having been re-sworn, Baron Deasy, who spoke in so low a tone as to be almost inaudible, addressed them. He said that on the last occasion on which he had the pleasure of addressing the Grand Jury of Clare, he had the pleasure of congratulating them upon the peaceable state of the County, but he was sorry indeed that he could not do so upon the present occasion. The county was in a bad state. It was stained with at least one crime of a most sad and revolting character. A farmers son, a young man in the full vigour of life, whose only offence consisted in the fact that his father had purchased a farm, was brutally murdered, and still more recently an attempt had been made on the life of Mr. Hall, a magistrate. He was fired at in open day, on the road to Quin, while driving on a car with another gentleman, to attend the petty sessions there; and both gentlemen had a narrow escape of their lives. There was now lying before him the able report of the County Inspector, in which was clearly set forth all the different crimes which had been committed since last assizes. He was very sorry to observe from it that several magistrates of the county had received threatening letter. The causes which gave rise to so serious a crime were very difficult to discover, and probably could never be known, but it was to be deeply regretted that such an offence should have been committed at all. With regard to the murder of the young man, McCarthy, near Tubber, he did not yet know whether the bill would be brought forward or not. The Crown, he understood, had not decided whether they would send the bills for their consideration this assizes or not, but he was sure that if it came before them they would give it their best consideration and deal with it in a befitting manner.


Clare Journal Newspaper 10th July 1873

Mr. O'Loghlen made an application to his lordship to have James and Daniel Howard brought up for trial on a charge of murdering the young man McCarthy near Tubber. His Lordship said he would take a note of it.


An application was made before the Grand Jury on Tuesday, by Mr. C. B. Molony, solicitor, who appeared on behalf of the tenants, resident in the townland of Coolbane, not to restrict the levying of the £500, compensation granted to the father of Patrick McCarthy, for the murder of his son. Mr. Molony argued that the area over which the amount was ordered to be levied, should be extended, but the Grand Jury refused the application on the ground that they would have given a larger compensation, had the townland been larger and more able to bear it. It was stated that the amount would be 2s 5d in the pound for two and a half years, exclusive of rates and taxes, and the additional burden imposed to support the new police-station formed there recently for the protection of Mr. Hall.


James Howard, Daniel Howard and Conor Howard, were brought forward, the Grand Jury having returned a true bill against the first two for the murder of Patrick McCarthy, at Tubber, and against Conor Howard for inciting to murder.

Mr. Coffey, Q.C., applied for a remand, as he was not prepared at present to go with the case. His Lordship granted the remand till next Assizes. Mr. O'Loghlen B.L., applied to admit the accused to bail, but his Lordship said he had not power. The application must be made to the Queen's Bench.

Limerick Chronicle 2nd August 1873

On yesterday, Larry Fogarty, the Crown witness in the case of Carty’s murder at Coolbane, was arrested and lodged in the county gaol, it having been alleged that he was about to quit the country. Fogarty was the former tenant on the land taken by Carty’s father.


Clare Journal Newspaper Monday 2nd March 1874


The Right Hon. Mr. Justice Fitzgerald entered court shortly after ten o'clock this morning, and proceeded witht the Crown business.


James and Daniel Howard were put forward in the dock indicted with having, on the 14th March, 1873, feloniously, wilfully, and maliciously killed and murdered Patrick McCarthy.

Cornelius Howard, father of the two previous prisoners, was indicted in a second count with having before said murder, on the 14th March, 1873, feloniously and maliciously incited, counselled and commanded and procured the commission of murder.

Messers Coffey, Q.C., Murphy, Q.C., and Waters, Q.C., instructed by Mr. Murphy, C.S., appeared for the Crown; and

Messers M. O'Loghlen, B.L., and Peter O'Brien, B.L., instructed by Mr. J. Frost, appeared for the defence.

The two young prisoners appeared as they stood in the dock, to be about 18 and 22 years respectively. They both appeared stout in build, but not tall for their age.

The following jury were sworn to try the case: Messers Austin O'Brien (foreman), John Scales, Christopher Gallery, Timothy Rea, Patrick Nagle, Daniel Thynne, Henry Thynne, Daniel O'Brien, Michael Devine, Mortimer McCarthy, Michael Naughten, and Patrick Lawlor. Mr. Coffey opened the proceedings.

Mr. John Egan deposed to Mr. Lynch -- I examined Conor Howard's farm in the month of July last and on the day before yesterday; in July, Constable Leap, and on the day before yesterday Head Constable Fogarty pointed out this farm to me; this map (produced) was made by myself, and represents accurately Howard's farm; it was made in Dublin by me, and is on a scale 16 times as large as the ordinance maps; the distance from Howard's door to where the body was found is 233 yards, the haggard is nearer to the spot where the body was found than the house is by about 20 yards; their is a slight incline down towards where the body was found; looking down from the haggard to where the body was found I could not see any object there if my attention had not been drawn to it; any man standing up where the body was found could be seen from the door; if my attention had been drawn to it I could see from the kitchen window a man lying down where the body was found; I got Head Constable Fogarty to lie down on the spot where the body was found and I saw him from the window in the kitchen.

Cross-examined by Mr. O'Loghlen- The haggard is about 20 to 30 feet wide, but I can't be accurate as I did not measure it; the map does not show all the hedges and ditches on the farm, but they have not been intentionally left out; it contains only the front wall of the haggard; I am Detective instructor in the Constabulary.

Re examined by Mr.Lynch- The front wall of the haggard was on an average about 4 ft. 4 inches high.

To Mr. O'Loghlen- it is in no part five feet high; it is composed of stones; there is a heap of rubbish thrown about outside the wall, but it does not obstruct the vision.

To Mr. Lynch- From the map I have omitted nothing that could obstruct the vision.

Mary Fogarty examined by Mr. Murphy,Q.C:- I live at Coolbane; I knew the murdered man; my husband had the land before McCarthy got it; the Howards were in possession of it about two years before McCarthy got it; it was my husband gave them possession of it; they remained in it until McCarthy got it; they paid arrears due of the land before that, but they were paying no rent for it; I know the two prisoners, neither of them was talking to me of the land they had from my husband; I last saw Pat McCarthy alive between 9 and 10 o'clock on Friday: I saw him then in the house which I had given up possession of it, but was still living in; it was on the land that McCarthy took; he got a hatchet from me then; about twelve o'clock I saw him come back and leave the hatchet; he returned between 3 and 4 and took the hatchet; after that I never saw him again till I saw him dead on Sunday on a field belonging to Howard; the body was lying on the field when I saw it; McCarthy's land and Howard's land were separated by a moat or mound of clay, with bushes growing on it; I next saw the same hatchet with the sub-inspector on Monday, with the handle broken; it was alright when I gave it to McCarthy; my daughter, Maria Fogarty, is about 13 years old; she was in the house once when McCarthy came; she was not there each time; she was not there when he came there the second or third time, but as well as I recollect she was there the first time; it was late on Sunday evening when I saw McCarthy dead,and there was a large crowd there at the time; I could not see people where the body was lying from my house; it was nearer to Howard's house than mine; I have no recollection of having seen any of the Howards in the crowd that Sunday evening; I took no notice who were there; there was no blood on the hatchet when I lent it to McCarthy; I saw none on it when the Sub Inspector had it.

Cross-examined by Mr. O'Brien- There were 19 or 20 men ploughing in the second next field to where the body was found on Friday.

Maria Fogarty (to Mr. Coffey)- I am the daughter of the last witness; I knew Pat McCarthy; I first saw him on Thursday about half past three o'clock previous to the day of the alleged murder; that was the first day he came to the land; I saw him on the following Friday between 9 and 10 o'clock; I saw James Howard and Pat McCarthy speaking on Friday; Pat McCarthy gave up sheep he found trespassing on his (McCarthy's) land to James Howard; I did not see McCarthy again till I saw his dead body in Howard's field on Sunday evening; I knew him to be McCarthy; when I returned home on that occassion I found my mother at home before me.

The witness was next cross-examined.

Bridget Neville (to Mr. Lynch)- I was in March last in the service of Father Molony, of Tubber; I remember Patrick McCarthy sleeping in the house two nights in March last; he came on Wednesday, he left on Fnday and was to be back at 5 o'clock for dinner; he was back at 12 o'clock, but left and was to be back again at 5 o'clock; he did not come back,and I never saw him again alive.

Patrick Howard, brother to the prisoners, and about eleven years old, to Mr. Coffey- I recollect seeing McCarthy in March last; I knew him by appearance; I saw him dead on Sunday morning; I could not say what hour; I saw him dead on Sunday about mass time; I had last seen him alive on Friday evening in his own field; I do not now go to school, but did then; it was when I was coming from school, which is over about half-past three o'clock, that I saw him alive in his own field, cutting furze; it was a bit out from the bounds fence that he was cutting the furze; I did not speak on that occassion to McCarthy; after eating my dinner I went out to count the sheep on my father's field; I had to pass through the haggard where my two brothers (in the dock) were sowing potatoes; I saw my two brothers both before and after counting the sheep; I saw them afterwards about six o'clock in the evening putting in hay and litter for the cattle; we were all at home that night; my brother Dan's trousers, indeed, were not washed that Friday evening; they were washed in the middle of the week; I heard my mother saying they were washed in the middle of the week, but I cannot recollect what day.

Mr. Coffey - Do you recollect having sworn this ( reading from the witness's informations made before Captain W. C. Hamilton, stating that his brother Dan's trousers was washed on Friday?)

Witness - I do not recollect swearing that.

Mr. Coffey having again read the witness's informations, repeated the question.

Witness denied that he said it was washed on Friday, but that it was washed in the middle of the week; I recollect that gentleman (Mr. French, R.M.) was present when I made that information to Capt. W. C. Hamilton; Daniel did not go to Mass at all that Sunday, but James went to Shanaglish chapel; as my father was unwell I did not go to Mass at all that Sunday; it was during Mass I saw the body dead; my brother was out after the sheep that had yeaned; my father sent me out to turn back the heifers that had strayed into that field; I saw the body then; it was lying near the moat dividing our land from McCarthy's, the body was a few yards from the fence; I think the body was lying on the side; I saw his head stained with blood; I didn't wait to see who the dead man was, but ran home to tell my father, who was the only person I found within; my brother Dan after counting the sheep came in, and asked me was there a dead man in the field; I said there was; I don't recollect that anything else passed between me and my brother on that occasion.

Cross examined by Mr. O'Loghlen - When I told my father of the dead body he told me to go and tell the priest as soon as Mass would be over; I told the coroner all I knew about this affair; I can read and write,but the information I made at Crusheen before Mr. Hamilton was not given me to read, and I did not read it; I have no recollection of having told Mr. Hamilton that my brother s trousers were washed on Friday; my brothers were not present when I made that information, but they were present when it was read out to me; a pig was killed for my father two or three days before the man was found; I was at school when it was killed; and cannot say by whom it was killed; there is a moat between the field in front of my father's house and that in which the body was found, it was on the other side of that moat, farthest from the house that the body was found; on Friday evening the sheep were in the field the body was found in,and I did not see McCarthy's body then: I did not go near the place where the body was found; I drove them out through a gap near the road; I drove them to the back of the house,where they remained on Saturday; there was no stock in that field on Saturday; my sister, older than I,was at home on Saturday,and about the place; I don't remember whether I was in that field on Saturday; I did not see the body on Sunday.

After the production, on the part of the Crown,of the evidence of Martin Neylon, alias Martin Luther, a convict, who caused a sensation in court by appearing in convict's clothes.

His Lordship informed the jury that Neylan's evidence of a confession of guilt by the Howards in gaol was the only evidence proving anything beyond grave suspicion against the prisoner, and asked the jury if they believed Neylon.

The Foreman promptly replied that the jury did not believe a word of Neylen's evidence.

His Lordship- That puts an end to the case.

The case was then withdrawn,the jury,by his lordship's directions returning a verdict of "Not Guilty".

The two young Howards, James and Daniel, were then discharged from the dock, the father being retained.


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