Journal Volume 7 2013
The genuine trial of Hugh Woolaghan, yeoman … on Saturday, October 13, 1798, for the murder of Thomas Dogherty (Dublin, 1798) (continued/2)
This closed the prosecution case. The first witness to be called for the defence was Richard Byrne, a private in the Wallace Fencibles. Questioned by Woolaghan, he claimed to have known Thomas Dogherty, his father and brother, and to have believed them to be rebels. He alleged that he had ‘seen them exercise with poles or pikes at Mr Johnson’s fields at Killincarrig, four miles beyond Bray, in the beginning of last Spring.’ Thomas, he said, had even tried to recruit him: he ‘asked me, Why I was not in among the body? What body? Said I; upon which he said I leave you as you are.’
It was also Byrne who claimed to have discovered the copy of the rebel song.
This paper came out of the pocket of Dogherty’s mother, in the church-yard at Delgany the day on which the coroner’s inquest sat on the body of her deceased son, and I picked it up, conceiving it to be a bank note; but finding there was no stamp on it, I shewed it to a friend, as I cannot read myself, and he told me it was a damned good thing, and the first time I saw Captain Gore, who commands the Newtown Mountkennedy yeomen, I gave it to him.
Since his enlistment, Byrne had been staying at the ‘Rendezvous-house, Cavan-street’, but prior to that had lived for about ten months at Killincarrig, half a mile from Delgany, as servant to a widow.
Edward Weyman, a private in the Newtownmountkennedy corps also claimed to have known the Doghertys, and described all three men as ‘reputed rebels.’ In response to a question as to whether Mary Dogherty had ever given him ‘any furniture to keep’, Weyman confirmed that
she did. She sent her daughter to me just after the Ancient Britons had been at Delgany, requested she might leave some leather and other articles in a sack at my house, which I consented to, and she sent them accordingly, and I kept them. About a month after the action at Mountkennedy she offered them to me for sale; and when I pointed out the mischief that arose from the rebellion, she, with her lifted-up hands, cursed the authors of it, and said, that it brought ruin on herself and family; and that she had not seen her husband or sons for some time back. This conversation took place some time about the beginning of June.
At the prisoner’s request, the Court was adjourned until the following Monday, 15 October. The first witness when the trial resumed was Thomas Vicars, who stated that he understood that Thomas Dogherty ‘had been in arms against the King’s forces at Nedstown, county Westmeath, was tried by a Court Martial, and was sent to one of the guard-ships in the river Liffey, to be transported; but to my knowledge, by the intervention of Mrs Latouche to Mr Cook and General Craddock, he was liberated.’ Vicars could not say whether Dogherty had any ‘protection’ or had taken the oath of allegiance after his release.
Isaac Sutton of Rathdrum then took the stand, and testified that he had known Thomas Dogherty: ‘I was taken prisoner by the rebels, near Roundwood, county Wicklow, about the month of May last; and he was one of the guard over me, for I heard his name called – Thomas Dogherty; and he answered to the name, and that he was a brogue-maker at Delgany.’ Questioned further, however, he was unable to say for sure that the Thomas Dogherty he had encountered was the deceased man.