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Ederney Riot




Art Cooper writes:

I transcribed the Ederny Riot trial and thought you might look at the file and consider adding it to the Millennium Gifts. Unfortunately, I can not locate one of my photo copies and about 18 lines on each of two adjacent columns are missing.

It is with extreme pain we have to notice the recurrence of party feuds in the neighbourhood, which we had flattered ourselves, were likely to subside. In the fair of Ederney, on the first instant, a sanguinary riot took place, in which several persons were desperately wounded. One man, named Robert Ingram has since died, and two others, named Johnston and Keys, are in such a dangerous state that their lives are despaired of. From all the information we have been able to collect, it appears, that on this occasion an immense number of strangers of the Catholic party, assembled, and without any previous cause, attacked a number of Protestants whom they forced to fly for protection into different houses in the town. The Yeomanry in the neighbourhood were called on to preserve the peace, but that only tended to increase the fury of the assailants, who commenced flinging stones, one of which wounded Ingram in the forehead, and caused his death. An inquest was held on his body, and a verdict of wilful murder found by the jury against several persons, some identified and others unknown. Seven or eight, we understand, have been committed to Jail to stand their trial at the approaching assizes, when the circumstances will be fully developed, and of which we shall be careful to give a correct report. The activity and exertions of Major Irvine, and William D'Arcy Irvine, Esq., two valuable and efficient Magistrates, in investigating the affair, and in causing the offenders to be apprehended, mark the highest praise.

It is but justice to the Yeomanry who assembled on the above occasion to state that their conduct was forbearing and praiseworthy.


James M'Cue, Thomas Sallen, James Keon, John Muldoon, Pat M'Donagh, John M'Golrick, William M'Laughlin, Terence Corrigan, Michael Cullion, Henry Burns, Bryan M'Barron, Pat Kiernan, Owen M'Donagh, Thomas Durkin and Edward Dolan, were indicted for the murder of William Ingram, at Ederny, on the first of March last. This important trial came on Monday last, at eleven o'clock and occupied the Court till half-past one next morning. A considerable delay arose in the arrangement between Council on both sides, on the subject of challenging jurors. It was at length agreed that there should be no greater number than forty on either side, and the following respected persons were ultimately sworn: -
Thomas Bailey, Esq., Mulladuff,
James Armstrong, Maguiresbridge,
Christopher Humphrys, Cullaghmore,
Edward Armstrong, Lovally,
William Johnston, Irvinestown,
Thomas Humphrys, Kesh,
Robert Gunnis, Drumard,
Archinbald Armstrong, Ballyhillagh,
Joseph Walsh, Corlat,
John Crawford, Killyclaghy,
Robert Graham, Drumack, and
Thomas Scarlet, Littlebills.

Mr. Macklin, for the prisoners, rose to request a list of witnesses on both sides to be exchanged, and for those not under examination to leave the Court.
Mr. R. Johnston, on the part of the Crown, objected to the interchange, but agreed to the witnesses withdrawing.
James Johnston sworn. Was at the March fair of Ederny--went about eleven o'clock and remained till 5 in the evening--saw some disturbances there--they commenced about half past eleven o'clock.
[At this stage of the trial, General Archdail came into court, and stated that there were three persons charged with murder at the Inismore riot, not included in the indictment, who the Grand Jury understood were omitted in consequence of directions from the Attorney General to the Crown Solicitor not to prosecute them. This the Crown Lawyers were not aware of and had never before heard. Sir James Galbraith rose and stated that no such instructions had been given by the Attorney General and that indictment had been framing against those persons and should be sent up to the Grand Jury presently. Sir James was then allowed by the Court to go up and explain to the Grand Jury the nature of the business; but was shortly after called into court by the judge and the trial proceeded. ]

Examination of James Johnston continued, -- Wit-ness could not well describe the kind of disturbance-the people were quarrelling and pursuing each other-they had no firearms of any kind, but had cudgels-did not see them used-but saw one party run after a man to beat him-saw no stones thrown or houses attacked. -[It appeared that this witness was produced by mistake.]
Samuel Johnston sworn. -Was at the fair of Ederny in March last--went there about eight or nine o'clock in the morning-saw a riot between ten and eleven o'clock-saw Johnston of Pettigo beat by ten or eleven persons in the townland of Ederny, adjoining the village, and one man whom he did not know, throw stones at Tiernan's house-Tiernan is an inn-keeper there-there were near 100 persons present, about his house rioting-Owen and Pat M'Donagh were of the party (identifies them)-they made a great noise, which he can't describe-they were vapouring their cudgels about their head-saw others rioting in Cahore-they were beating one Johnston-there were about 200-Johnston escaped into a friend's house-repeats that he saw persons throwing stones at Tiernan's house, but saw no persons wounded.

Cross-examined by Mr. Macklin. -Went to the fair about 8 or 9 0'clock, and saw the riot at Tiernan's-went up to the horse market, out of town-had no arms when he first went to the fair, but had arms afterwards-when he saw Tiernan's house attacked, it was about four or five o'clock in the evening. He joined the guard-there was no officer or non-commissioned officer with them. James Phillips, William Cooper, Robert, the deceased and David Ingram, and Arthur Johnston-there were 12 or 14 of them in the guard-don't recollect the names of the rest-got the gun at the end of Henry Tiernan's house, between that and Priest M'Mahon's, from one of the men named James Phillips who had been on the street with it. It had a bayonet on it-he proceeded up the street and called out for a rebel or a ribandman-from the treatment the Protestants received, he thought it right to put them down-at this time none struck witness. He had an old grudge to them--he thought some measures should be resorted to prevent them rioting in Ederny-he considered from their proceedings there that it was more smart for assassination than for commerce-he did not go to a Magistrate or consult one whether he should bring a gun-the guard consulted about taking measures-witness and others signed a memorial to the Grand Jury to have police in Ederny, to establish peace there-this was after the 19th of July last-the memorial was prepared, but can't say it was presented-understands it was presented-consulted no other persons as the Grand Jury gave no answer, to his knowledge -he considered the gentlemen did not look to Ederny. There was a shot fired which apprised witness-he and two others were opposite Tiernan's house-The shot was fired by David Ingram, brother to the deceased, between 4 and 5 o'clock in the evening-it was not a signal shot-looked at the window and saw a man throw stones at Tiernan's house-he then passed through to the rere, and proceeded to the men-it was then he got the gun from Phillips. Hugh Brandon and Mary Brandon had been with witness on the loft-they were half an hour there-one of them brought him into the house and told him that if he remained on the street he would be murdered-there was no quarrel on the street at that time. Owen and Pat M'Donagh were in the street-told Owen he would stab him if he did not stand off. On proceeding up he met M'Donagh as any other person-M'Donagh seemed willing to go forward to him, and he told him to stand off or he would stab him-M'Donagh had no gun or bayonet, he had a stick in his hand-the guard were distant a few yards, when witness met M'Donagh-was not at the meeting of the guard previous to the fair-was not apprised of the guard meeting till he heard the shot-thought it an unusual thing at the fair, and went to see what was the cause-did not know there was a guard until he went in-don't know who charged the gun-understood the guard were battered in by the mob, but did not see them attacked-found the guard on the street with guns and bayonets-M'Donagh had not done anything to him when he told him to stand off, &c., but thought he should not come forward on such an occasion-M'Donagh was standing still, and believes he said you know me, and sure you would not stab me-witness was in different parts of the street, between the horse market and the town, from ten or eleven o'clock to between four and five in the evening-sold a horse, and wanted to buy two pigs-the first and only place he was in company with the guard was when he joined them between four and five o'clock-Robert and David Ingram were on the guard.

By a juror-None of the guard were in the house when he left (the loft)-there had been rioting previous to the time he called for the rebel or ribandman -can't say any of the prisoners were in it.

William Ingram sworn, and examined by Mr. Boyd. -Is brother to Robert, the Deceased, and David Ingram-was in Ederny fair on the day of the riot-went to buy yarn and sell a heifer-there was rioting in the street-at half past three o'clock was standing at Tiernan's door-a person was bent in-he went in and saw Robert there, and several others-the windows of the house were broken shortly after he went in, and stones thrown at the door-saw no person in the house struck with the stones-saw his brother bleeding from the head, but did not examine the wound-it was on Monday evening and he lived till one o'clock on Wednesday-he was in good health before that-Francis Dally (not on trial) was there but knows no other person who was in the riot-a guard arrived there for their own protection and that of others-at the time the guard arrived there was rioting in the street, and persons beating others-saw the persons from the door beating people for a good distance-saw a man named Knox, that had been beaten .

Cross-examined by Mr. Doughty. -Went to the fair about six o'clock in the morning-had no arms then-saw rioting about three o'clock-the first riot was over before four-it might be about three-had nothing in his hand at three-but about four he had a gun and bayonet. Lives in Devenny, about a mile from Ederny-the gun was at home and he sent his son James for it. Witness charged the gun in Drumkeen-went there to meet those that were coming-desired the boy to bring ammunition-he brought three balls and three charges of powder-he went to Drumkeen where he arranged to meet the boys, and saw others there, viz.-his brother David, James Phillips and the two Coopers-there were six or seven guns there-a boy named Elliot was there-does not think he had a gun-there were two boys named Morrison also-they might have had guns, but can't say-Johnston Campbell was there with a gun, James Connolly , also with a gun, does not think Nedderys were there, but can't say-his brother, the deceased, was not there at that time-did not see him have a gun there-heard that he had a fowling piece which he took from the boy, but did not see him. There was no commanding officer there-no beadsman-Drumkeen is a good distance from Ederny-witness and the others marched into the fair-this was about an hour and a half after the first riot was over-went down the street of Ederny-saw no people there-they gave the crowd no reason to run-went to Henry Tiernan's house, it was a crowded fair-had no intention of molesting any person-knows Sam Johnston, the last witness-he joined them in the under end of the town after witness was beat into Tiernan's house-heard it was David Ingram who fired the shot-did not see it. David was at Drumkeen-did not see him prime and load there-the town was quiet when he and party returned armed to it, but when they went down to Tiernan's house he saw rioting-witness and party gave no assault to any one-there were no guns there but their own-heard no person call out for rebels or ribandmen-did not hear the words "" made use of, don't recollect any such expressions-they had no constables with them; heard the people talking to constables; did not hear the expression "here's my gun that's my authority" witness said party was asked what authority they had for carrying arms; did not hear what answer was given. Witness saw the deceased on Tuesday after the fair carrying turf in a creel from the bog; heard there was yarn boiled in the house of the deceased. Witness had yarn to buy and a heifer to sell; his business was over before three o'clock; he dare not go home when his business was over, but went to Drumkeen, by a backward by road; Drumkeen is not the straight road to his home; could have gone home when at Drumkeen, but knew that his brother, the deceased, was behind at Ederny; was in Tiernan's house early on that day; James Cooper was with him there and Arthur Johnston. David Ingram was not; had no consultation; did not see Phillips, Campbell, Connolly, or Elliot there; the place of meeting Drumkeen was not mentioned by them in Tiernan's house. They got there to go home together, because he was afraid of going home, being beat before. Sent his son home for assistance. It was agreed at Tiernan's about 4 o'clock that they should meet at Drumkeen; witness and they dare not come out; the reason he and the party were afraid was because he was beat in the year 1815.

Re-examined by Mr. Boyd; -- He said the party must go down street from Drumkeen to Tiernan's house, as it was at the lower end of the town.

Cross-examined by a Juror-Did not hear for what purpose his brother fired; went into Ederny to protect his wife and daughter who were in Tiernan's house. His brother the deceased, was not struck with a stone before they came with the arms, but after.
Robert Maxwell sworn-examined by Mr. Deering; Was at Ederny fair in March last; went after breakfast and remained until after sunset; saw crowds of people at the fair at different times; assembled in different places; they were the same party going backward and forward; they had no weapons but sticks; the rioting continued a long time; till towards evening; saw James Connolly struck about 12 or one o'clock; did not see any with arms until the guard came in; they went down the street to an open space below Henry Tiernan's house, and turned up to it; they were followed by the mob; damming them where were they going with the arms. The guard had not molested any one at that time; they went in Tiernan's house and stopped there; the mob faced the guard with sticks and stones and were told several times to keep back; saw stones sticks going together; was not there at the beginning, but saw stones thrown thorough the windows of Tiernan's house; the mob were striking at the guard, who were giving back; they stood as long as they could, and then retreated; the guard still desiring the mob to keep back; witness was going into house, and saw Robert Ingram standing at the door till he was forced back into Tiernan's house; saw him bleed in the house about three minutes after; saw James M'Cue at the jamb of the door, with a stone in each hand under the skirts of his coat; heard him say to deceased " Bob don't shoot us;" deceased had a gun in his hand at the time but witness had neither a gun stick or stone. A shot was fired, but not by deceased; it was fired about four or five minutes before he saw deceased bleeding; stones were coming into the house through the window, so thick that witness had to hide under the chimney brace; M'Cue was standing with the stones in his hands before the shots were fired; there were plenty of stones thrown before the shot was fired; the windows were broken; the door had got several strokes before it, and there were some shouts from the mob. Knows a person, named Knox; saw him struck, and pulled in at a window; it was an old house, and had no glazed windows; can't identify any of the attacking party, there was a great number of them.

Cross-examined by Mr. Lisle, --It was about two in the morning he saw Knox dragged through the window: saw none of the prisoners at the time; there were different riots before and after it; there were intervals of peace; saw several persons beat but don't know their names; did not see M'Cue give a blow that day; he was standing with his back against the wall; deceased had a gun in his hand at the time M'Cue said " Bob don't shoot us;" to deceased or rather sideways; there were upwards of fifteen in the house at this time; those inside had to go out of the back door, in consequence of the stones coming in at the door and window. The yeomen went out in the rear, and then went up the street, and then went home. On first coming into town with their guns they went down below Tiernan's house 15 or 20 yards, to the open ground and then returned; did not see the guard before or after they left Tiernan's house, get a blow with either stick or stone; saw no person running before them; the mob followed them when they were going down the street; the mob retreated rather forward; did not then see any fighting; saw Samuel Johnston in Tiernan's house, when the guard came forward; did not hear Johnston or any person call out for ribbonmen or rebels during the day.

By the Judge. -The people were four or five yards from the guard when they retreated to Tiernan's house; some of them nearer; deceased and M'Cue were standing in the door; M'Cue farthest out, deceased had a gun in his hand for his defence; can't say who fired the shot; is certain deceased did not, because he was close behind him; saw him at the end of the street with the party.

By a Juror-is sure he saw deceased bleeding in the house before the shot was fired.

Re-examined by Mr. Deering. -There were standings in the street when the guard passed down.

By the Court. -They could have got in before came to the standings in the upper side; but when they passed the upper end they had to pass Tiernan's house and go down before them before turning up to get into the house.
James Philips, sworn and examined by Mr. Schoales-Lives in Aughaleague a quarter of a mile from Ederny; is well acquainted with Ederny; was in the fair; went to it in the evening; saw from his own door several men winding cudgels about on the Brae face coming out of the fair; heard them call out "who dare say against the Castlecoole boys; he did not know any of them; he went into town after that; went to Tiernan's house, and made a trice with a few friends to defend and protect themselves, and did not intend to offend any one, but to bring out those who were caged up there. Witness and party, who went into the fair with arms, were about ten or twelve. The mob were in a most disturbed rebellious-like manner, parading through the streets; when they saw witness and party going to Tiernan's, they commenced throwing stones in great numbers; the-brattle they made was like a carload of stones thrown down on the ground; it was a considerable time after the stones were thrown, that the shot was fired. [Identifies James Keon, who threw stones; John Muldoon and Thomas Scollen.] Heard Keon ask James Cooper what made him bring arms there, and what authority had he for doing so; saw Muldoon and Keon with a loaded whip and staff very active among the mob, and in the front of them; Muldoon had the loaded whip; in three minutes after saw the deceased bleeding, he was standing in the door, and was not bleeding when he first saw him; when the door was made fast they went out of the back door, and on returning to the front, saw Muldoon and Keon with the same weapons in front of the mob at the lower end of the house. Witness and party went up the lower; saw the mob follow the guard, who were retreating; one of the mob said damn you why don't you *** now and fall on them." Muldoon and Keon were among them; the guard then went off home as quietly as possible; they came off without offence and got none coming.

Cross-examined by Mr. Macklin. -Not one of the guard was struck with all these stones, &c. ---was in the sessions house before; ---had warrants before for being beat; ---there were many fairs in Ederny, and the Protestants found it dangerous to go to them; had warrants against some of his neighbours, and compromised one, but only for his expenses; did not desire money to be left under a stone to compromise them; if it was a good trade, the Protestants might have enough of it, as they were bent and abused; cant say how much his expenses were travelling night and day to take the persons who beat him; never gave a hint that money might be left under a stone to compromise his present business; but a friend pressed him to settle a quarrel and he got 7s. 6d., for which he was afterwards processed, but had a warrant against the man, knows Jack Somerville, a constable, and Robert Carlton, of Irvinestown, does not recollect telling them if a little money were left under a stone he would not come forward on this business; does not think he said so; many came to him and said it was better to settle than have his house burned; did not go to the fair to buy or sell; was in his own door and saw persons who seemed familiar to him; went and asked what they were doing; got a gun at Drumkeen; did not see it loaded; don't remember from whom he got it; David and William Ingram were there, Johnston Campbell, the two Coopers, one Elliott, believes one of the Morris's and one of the Niddery; does not think there were bayonets for all the guns; some of them were fixed, and some were not; saw no belts; Robert Ingram and some friends were stormed up in Tiernan's house; and they went to relieve them.-Tiernan's door was open and they came down to it; there was no mob round it, but they were convenient; none restricted their passage into Tiernan's house, or prevented them entering it; a man asked Cooper what was his authority for carrying a gun; does not recall him saying " this is my authority;' was at the arresting of the prisoners; some of them were unruly, who would not come on and perhaps got some blows; did not see Corrigan get any abuse at Major Irvine's.

By the Judge. -He had none of his family or companions in the fair, and went to assist his neighbours.

By a juror. -The pedlars' standings were between him and Tiernan's house, and they had of necessity to go round them.
Christopher Johnston sworn and examined by Mr. Boyd. -Was in the fair on the day of the riot; did not belong to the guard; saw rioting about twelve to one o'clock; went into Tiernan's in the evening; saw James M'Cue drinking in the same room with witness; saw Robert Ingram after he had received the wound in the head, and thought badly of it; appeared to be inflicted by a stone; saw a number of people about the door behind the guard who were coming in; they threw stones for he was struck with one; the guard were in before that-heard a shot the front of the house; the stones were thrown at the house before it was fired.

Cross-examined by Mr. Dougherty. -Saw the first riot; it was over about one o'clock; went home after it; he lives about a gunshot from the town, returned again in about an hour and a half, to converse with a friend who was going to America; went to Tiernan's and took a glass with his friend up stairs; the first noise he heard was when the guard were passing the house; they stated in coming in that they were forced in; saw no person confined in the house nor any obstruction to persons passing in or out; his wife was with him; believes it was one of the Ingrams fired the shot, and heard it was a blank cartridge ; thinks he held the gun in the ordinary way. Ingram was the person fired the shot. M'Cue was in the same apartment up stairs drinking with a young woman; saw no one receive injury from the stones. Witness remained some time in the house after the guard went away, and then went home without receiving injury; thinks the guard were in greater danger than himself; and that there would have been no stones thrown if the arms had not been brought. Knows M'Cue since he was a boy, and can'' give him a bad character, but rather a good one.

By the Court. -M'Cue left the room a few minutes before the witness with a young woman; went to the door before all came in and did not see M'Cue.


Contributed by Art Cooper

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