Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Bunbury Papers extract

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Thomas Deegan
"Hurling match Incident!"
By kind permission of Michael Purcell

From the Bunbury Papers, interesting case. Other accounts tell us that Patrick McDarby was Blooded by the neighbours many times during the night and Leeches were also applied (he would have been cut to draw blood, it was believed that if a person was unconscious they should cause blood to spill and then apply leeches to stopped the bleeding). Subsequently Michael Brennan was arrested and charged with murder. I do not, as yet, know what happened to him .

The Examination of Thomas Deegan of Carlow.

      Swears that on the evening of Saturday 26th November 1785. he went to see a Hurling match near Graigue in Queen's County and there saw a number of men Hurling and in a short time saw Patrick McDarby Stoop Down and take up the Ball they were Hurling with as McDarby was appointed Judge of the field before they began said Hurling match he thereby had a right to do so.

Upon which Michael Brennan of Monure in Queen's County, Farmer, without any Other Offence or Provocation came upon said McDarby and with his hands turned said McDarby about and then behind his back said Michael Brennan gave said McDarby a most Desperate stroak of the Flat of a Hurl which said Brennan had in his hands Just over the Right Temple upon which said McDarby fell upon his face on the Ground Seeming Streched out for Death and remained there about five Minutes Senseless and Speechless then he was turned by Some persons upon his Back and Blooded and to the appearance of every person present he was dead and Dying from the violence of Said Stroke upon which Captain John Waters of Carlow Seized said Michael Brennan and Kept him in Custody Sometime and told said Brennan he had Murdered the said Michael McDarby by the Stroke of his Hurl upon which said Waters then Commanded this Examinant, Thomas Deegan, to Assist him in the Kings name to keep said Brennan for said Murder upon which Examinant Complyed with and took said Brennan by the left Arm and there kept said Brennan for near Ten Minutes when Patrick Brennan, Dennis Brennan and James Brennan, Brothers of said Michael Brennan came up in a most violent manner and by force took and Rescued said Michael Brennan and thereby set him at Liberty then some Friends of said Mr. Waters and Examinant came up and advised Examinant and said Waters to Immediately Quit the Field and go home or further Murder would Ensue upon which Examinant and Waters Quited the field and came home and about the hour of Six O'Clock on said night he heard said McDarby was Conveyed in a Car from said Field to Bridewell Lane in Carlow near to where Examinant Lives then he went to the house where said McDarby was Brought into and Saw a number of the Neighbours Putting said McDarby into bed and there he remained Languishing Speechless until Sometime on said Night when said Captain Waters came to said house and Desired the woman of the house to send to him for any thing that might be wanting for the dying man and he would send it upon which Examinant then went home and about the hour of Eight or nine O'Clock on the morning of Sunday following he came to see said McDarby and then and there saw him Patrick McDarby Dead and Layed out as a Corpse and Examinant Believes it was by the means of said Stroke of the Hurl McDarby came by his Death.

(signed) Thomas his X mark Deegan.

The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.
Source: Michael Purcell  c2008

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