Newspaper: Special Session under Insurrection Act, 1822

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File contributed by: Frank Murray []

Special Session under the Insurrection Act, 2 March 1822

Thomas SHAUGHNESSY, an able stout man, was put to the bar, 
charged with being an idle and disorderly person under the 
Act, having been out of his home at half past ten o'clock on 
the night of the 28th ultimate.

William JOHNSON, one of the Adare Yeomanry, deposed that he 
saw a house burning belonging to Mr. FOSBERY on the 28th 
ult; when he first saw the fire he was two miles distant 
from it; accompanied by a detachment of the 42nd Regiment, 
and a policeman hastened to the place; when he arrived 
there, it was all in flames, being a thatched house; there 
was one woman in the house at the time it was set on fire; 
and she was got out; some of the 42nd from Kildimo had 
arrived there before his party; he and his party then 
searched the adjoining houses to see it the inhabitants were 
within; they went into SHAUGHNESSY's house and saw an old 
man sitting by the fire; while they were interrogating the 
old man the prisoner rushed in from the back door in great 
heat, as if after a chase, and on being asked where he was, 
he said that he was feeding the cow, upon which witness to 
ascertain the truth and found the cow in the yard without 
any food before it, but saw another man in the stable, where 
there were two horses; the distance from the back door to 
the cow was not more than eight or nine yards. (The prisoner 
addressed the witness from the dock, denying having said he 
was feeding the cow, but that he was feeding the horses).
Daniel ROSS, a soldier of the 42nd Regt. was in the house of 
the prisoner on the night stated, and saw him come through 
the back door; he seemed in a great heat, as if after 
running-the witness put his hand upon the Prisoner's side, 
and felt his heart palpitate.
COURT: Witness, you know what it is to run after an enemy, 
and not from him-was it a state of heat similar to that he 
was in? WITNESS: smiling-"Yes, my Lord, as if he was after a 

Prisoner told witness also, that he had been feeding cows. 
Francis MAGINAS, a soldier of the 42nd deposed that prisoner 
told him after he had come in, that he was feeding horses; 
Prisoner said that after the yeoman and soldier had 
interrogated him
The Prosecution closed, and for the defence was called 
Patrick SHAUGHNESSY, brother to the Prisoner, who stated 
that he was not long in bed when the army came in; that he 
had given directions to his brother to put the cow in the 
stable; his brother was not long gone when the soldiers were 
searching the house. On his cross examination, he could not 
tell whether four or five minutes or three or four hours in 
bed, before the soldiers had arrived, but he believed four 
or five minutes; he had no watch and how could he tell.

The case closed, and the Magistrates and Court consulted, 
and the Prisoner was promptly found Guilty, and as promptly 
sentenced to seven years Transportation. The Court and 
Magistrates were fully of opinion that the Prisoner was at 
the burning of Mr. FOSBERY's house. The Court observed, that 
a report had been currently circulated that New South Wales 
was a comfortable place to be transported to, but the 
Prisoner would find, and the Public may be assured, that an 
Island not so comfortable would be selected by the 

Murtoch (six) SULLIVAN, an aged man, was put to the Bar-he 
was the person found in the stable of the last Prisoner, 
hiding behind the door at the tail of the horses, and the 
door fastened inside. He had the appearance of fresh mud on 
his feet and legs; his case was a short one, he could offer 
no defence and it was equally presumed that he had ran in 
there to hide from the soldiers, after the burning of the 
house. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years 

Source: Limerick Chronicle held by the National Library, 
Dublin. The Limerick Chronicle 6 Mar 1822