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/1)
Asked if her husband and son had not been involved in the rebellion, Mrs Dogherty replied, ‘I cannot tell’, and she denied that another son had been killed at Dunboyne while fighting with the rebels. He was, she said, alive and working at his trade. Questioned as to whether Thomas had been a rebel, ‘and engaged in the battle of Dunboyne against the King’s forces’, she denied any knowledge of this, but conceded that he had been accused of it. She also admitted that he had been taken prisoner as a rebel, ‘and was put on board a ship in the river, where he was sick, and was got off by Lord Cornwallis’s orders through Mrs Latouche, and afterwards put into the navy hospital.’
Mrs Dogherty was then shown a paper on which was printed a rebel song:
Rouse Hibernians, from your slumber,
See the moment just at hand,
Imperious tyrants for to tumble,
Our French Brethren are at hand.
Vive la, united heroes,
Triumphant always may they be;
Vive la, our gallant brethren,
That have come to set us free …
She denied ever having seen the paper or heard the verses before. Asked where her husband was, and how long he had been away from home, she replied that ‘he is now in Dublin, working at his trade of brogue-making; but he was reaping at home at Delgany about a month before this.’ She had last seen her other son three months before, at Newtown Park, ‘working at his trade of brogue-making.’ Finally, she was asked if she had ever heard ‘of any quarrel or dispute between your son and the prisoner Woolaghan’, to which she replied, ‘I never did.’
The next witness was the dead man’s sister, Esther Dogherty. Asked to describe the circumstances of the killing, Esther stated that Woolaghan had come to the house ‘last Monday was a week, between nine and ten o’clock in the morning’, and that there were five people in the house at that time – her mother, her brother and three other children. Her account of the initial exchange tallied with that of her mother (married to her father Harry Dogherty) but after her brother was shot for the first time, she ran out of the house, and only heard the sound of the final, fatal, shot. As both Charles Fox and James Fox the elder were outside at that time (the latter ‘standing against the church-wall’ three perches away), Hugh Woolaghan was the only person who could have fired it.
Under cross-examination, Esther denied ever hearing that her father and brother were accused of involvement in the rebellion, that her other brother was killed at Dunboyne, or that Thomas had been at that battle or any other. She and her mother had been living in Delgany throughout, and her mother had left Delgany only once in the past four months, ‘when she came to town … as she heard my deceased brother was working at the market-house.’ She had heard that Thomas had been arrested as a rebel, and that he had been released ‘by the interference of Mrs Latouche with the Lord Lieutenant.’ Her other brother she had last seen ‘about five or six weeks ago at Delgany.’
Margaret Barry (at whom James Fox was alleged to have fired a shot) was called next, but told the court ‘that she had nothing to say against James Fox, or any of the prisoners at the bar.’