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Michael Owens, the chief informer, was the next witness. He commenced by stating that he knew Mr. O'Connor, and was in his employment as labourer; recollected the robbery of the mail on the day laid in the indictment; was one of the party who robbed; that previous to the robbery M'Keon called upon him, and stated that Mr. O'Connor wanted to see him; that on his going to Dangan, Mr. O'Connor asked him whether he would join in robbing the Galway mail; the witness replied he would, but had not arms enough; that Mr. O'Connor said that he would provide arms; that witness said he wanted men also, having only four or five at command; that Mr. O'Connor mentioned that Heavy and Savage, two persons who had escaped from Trim gaol, and were then in the wood of Dangan, would join; that after considerable consultation with Mr. O'Connor, it was finally agreed that the following should be the persons employed the two Warings [Richard and Daniel], the two Owenses [Michael and John], Cahir and Shaw, Heavy and Savage, and the prisoner M'Keon. That it was settled that all these should assemble at Dangan on the evening of the robbery; that they all did meet, with the exception of Daniel Waring (the other approver); that M'Keon was the person who opened the gate for them. After a consultation Mr. O'Connor brought witness down to the stable-yard, and delivered the necessary arms, together with 18 rounds of ball-cartridge, and a paper of gunpowder. Witness proceeded to state, that all the party, thus provided, with the
exception of M'Keon, repaired towards Cappagh-hill; Daniel Warren met them on the way. When they had arrived pear their destination, witness dispatched all the party but Shaw to the turnpike-gate to tie it up, and to take away any arms that might be in the turnpike-house. The gate was secured, but before the house could be ransacked the coach approached. It was challenged to stop, on which the passengers called out to the guard to fire, and all the party but witness and Shaw retired. The latter fired upon the guard and killed him. He then mounted to the seat of the deceased, "threw him over," and took away the bags. All this time the witness stood at the head of the horses. The party that retreated soon came up, and proceeded to drag out the passengers and rifle their pockets. There was only one passenger respected, and he was a priest. Having accomplished their purpose, they all returned to Dangan. Mr. O'Connor was the person who received the party. On opening the gate he expressed a hope that they had had good luck. He then called M'Keen, who was his gate-keeper, and all the party proceeded to a private part of the demesne, termed Saints' Island: they there waited until day-light, and then proceeded to ascertain the nature of their booty. O'Connor sat on a ditch, and the remainder of the party on the grass under him. By O'Connor's direction they placed a hat in the centre of the group, and deposited all the money in it. O'Connor next proceeded to divide the booty. Each man's share of the notes taken out of the letters amounted to 450l. Each person's
share of the money taken from the passengers amounted to 80l. O'Connor took the same proportion which the others got; but he compelled Heavy and Savage to pay him 100l. each for the protection he had afforded them when they had broken out of Trim gaol: the arms they brought back to Dangan, O'Connor saying they would answer for the attack on the Enniskillen coach, which was then intended, it having been understood that it was conveying money to the army. Witness had been sworn to secrecy by O'Connor on the 1st of January, 1812. The object was, that he should rob for arms, and become a Carder. A part of the oath pledged those who took it 66 not to pity the moans or groans of Orange-men, but to wade knee deep in their blood." O'Connor stated, that when he should have a sufficient number of Carders embodied, he would surprise the plans of Government. Witness had been tried for the mail-robbery, and murder of the guard, and was acquitted. He then went to the county Cavan, and was arrested and tried there for passing some of the notes which had been taken out of the mail, but was acquitted. He was afterwards taken up for a robbery in the county of Dublin, and was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in February, 1817. About three weeks after the sentence he gave information. had been attended by his clergyman, and had made his confession in consequence of the advice he received from him. A Captain Mockler had called on him at Kilmainham, a few days previous to the day appointed for his execution.
The Captain stated the object of the visit to be, to know whether he (the witness) had ever said that he intended to go down to Meath, to try whether he could get a shot at him (Mockler). Witness denied he had ever spoken of or intended any such thing. Mockler said he believed him, though he was told that he had such a purpose in view. Mockler then proceeded to make some remarks, from which witness understood that there would be some hopes of pardon if he made a discovery. Witness thereupon observed, that as for Mr. O'Connor he had always given him the best advice, and that he would not be where he was if he had taken the advice. Witness was asked, whether it was true that O'Connor had given him the advice, and he answered, it was not true. He was then asked by a juror, whether at the time he made that statement to Mockler, his clergyman had not been attending him, and for a considerable time previous, and whether he had not received the sacrament from him; to which he replied, that his clergyman, Dr. Lube, had been attending him nearly three weeks, and that he had administered the sacrament to him different times. The day of execution was drawing near, Dr. Lube had held out no hopes of his being saved: and that notwithstanding all these circumstances he told the falsehood to Mr. Mockler, not wishing to implicate Mr. O'Connor. The day after the conversation with Mr. Mockler, Dr. Lube had called on him. Witness then told him he had something particular to communicate; that hopes of pardon
had been held out to him, if he would give information, and wished to know whether it would be criminal in him to give information against his accomplices. Dr. Lube answered, it would be doing a good act to rid the country of such characters, and advised him to give the information. Witness then wrote to Captain Mockler, who came to him; and he disclosed every thing. Mockler was accompanied by Alderman Darley, who took witness's informations.
On his cross-examination by Mr. Bennet, witness said he knew there were such places as hell and heaven-that he expected to go to heaven. He was at so many robberies that he could not tell the number of them. One of the blunderbusses found at Mr. O'Connor's had been taken out of the house of Richard Warren, and he was present on the occasion. He assisted in taking the other blunderbuss from the house of Garrett Dunn Richardson, in 1812. He was also present at the carding of a man named Walsh. He held Walsh while Waring carded him. The reason of his being carded, was, his having been understood to be a bad man in the parish, and one who would not contribute to the poor. He did not doubt but Walsh was a Catholic. He did not mind what his religion was, though the oath administered by Mr. O'Connor bound him not to mind the moans or groans of Orange-men. He did not know whether himself or Waring (the other approver) was the greater villain. He was robbing since 21; he is now 27, and thought he deserved hanging; it would be better for a man to be hanged than take
a false oath; it would, nevertheless, be better to break the Carders' oath, which he had taken, than keep it. He admitted, he was never employed to work directly by Mr. O'Connor, but was employed by M'Keon, who was Mr. O'Connor's task-man; M'Keon was not present at the dividing of the booty, being employed in keeping the other workmen from the place where the booty was divided. M'Keon had advised him to have nothing to do with mail robberies, as it was a bad business, and would cost him his life. When he first called on Mr. O'Connor he was not bound to secrecy. Mr. O'Connor merely asked him whether he would join in robbing the mail; he was not in the habit of going into Mr. O'C's parlour; when he met him on the demesne, he generally put his hand to his hat for Mr. O'C.; when he took off his hat, Mr. O'C, would desire him to put it on again. The party proceeded to open the letters, &c. about five in the morning, and had finished at eight; most of the party remained in the demesne of Dangan until evening. Three of the men had been hanged since the robbery.
They died stout men, and gave no information against Mr. O'Connor, although they were not very stout in running away at the time of the attack on the mail. He believed he was the stoutest man amongst them, but he was not appointed captain of the gang. He had no more command than others. He had taken potatoe-ground from Mr. O'Connor; Mr. O'C. would not allow the potatoes to be removed until they were paid for was not at home when the refusal
he went to Dangan, in company with Alderman Darley and Cap tain Mockler. He proceeded to the house of the younger Mr O'Connor, on the Dangan demiesne, and situated at a short distance from the prisoner's house, and there found the two blunderbusses which had been exhibited to the last witnesses. He found them in the bed room of Mr. O'Connor, stand
was given; he believes his brother-in-law passed his note for the price of the potatoes; Mr. O'Connor afterwards, processed his bro. ther-in-law for the amount of the note. He should not be well pleased with a man who would not serve his family as well as himself. Mr. O'Connor and he used to have religious discourses. A juror asked, "what religious discourses?" The witness answering against the chimney, in a con» ed, "Carding and taking of arms!" Witness was again asked, whether he could give a guess as to the number of crimes he was implicated in, and he answered, he could not. The examination of this witness did not close until within ten minutes of four o'clock. Richard Waring proved the robbery of his house of a blunderbuss. (A blunderbuss was produced to witness, which he identified as the one of which he had been robbed.)
Garret Richardson examined.→ His house was robbed, in 1812, of a blunderbuss. [A blunderbuss was produced, but witness could not identify it. It was like one which he possessed, but he could not positively swear it was the same.]
Mr. Wallace, as counsel for Mr. O'Connor, said, he was willing to admit it was the blunderbuss which was stolen from the wit ness, but that he would show how it got into the possession of Mr. O Connor's family.
Mr. Sergeant Jebb observed, that the admission of the learned counsel was wise and candid,
Thomas Thompson, Esq. solicitor to the post-office, stated, that in consequence of information which he received through Owens,
spicuous situation, and not in any manner concealed. He received information concerning a watch, and seized an article of that de scription, which he had met with, but found on examination it was not such a one as was described to him; he therefore returned it. This witness next proceeded to state, that he met Mr. O'Connor at the assizes of Naas, where he attended to prosecute the Owenses. He observed, in a jocose way, that "wherever the Owenses were to be tried; he was sure to meet Mr. O'Connor," Mr. O'C. replied, that "they were as great vagabonds as existed." The witness mentioned, that notwithstanding that assertion of Mr. O'Conner, he appeared at the trial, and gave these persons a general good chas racter; which surprised witness so much, that he had him cross examined as to the fact of his-hawing had the conversation with ham respecting these individuals previous to the trial. Mr. O'C., witness affirmed, had not denied that he talked of the Owenses as being very bad persons, but that he was not serious when he spoke of them. Witness got nothing in the house of Mr. O'Connor, jun. but the blunderbusses; and that, as to the house of Dangan, the
searching of that place was left to Alderman Dailey.
On being cross-examined by Mr. Wallace, he repeated that the blunderbusses were quite exposed. Richard Waring, the other approver, was examined at much length. A great portion of his evidence relative to the circumstances of the robbery, &c. agreed with that given by Owens. He said that he was not present at the consultation at Dangan, having had to go for a blunderbuss which he had concealed in a bog. He stated, that on the return of the party from the robbery, Mr. O'Connor had opened the gate for them, hoping that they had good luck; and that he (Mr. O'Connor) had held the blunderbuss of one of the party while he went into M'Keon's house to light his pipe He distinctly affirmed that M'Keon advised him to cease robbing houses for arms, &c. as it was an unprofitable pursuit, and take up the better occupation of mailrobbing. He stated that he, as well as his associate Owens, was concerned in innumerable criminalties. He had taken the Carder's oath at the instigation of Mr. O'Connor, but his description of it was different from that which Owens had given. It bound persons, according to his statement, merely to support anarchy and put down monarchy." He was present at the carding of Walsh, who had been held while the witness performed with his own hand that operation. Walsh, however, was not left long in his hands. He said he had "only two or three touches at him," the instrument of torture being given to abler and better hands. He operated on VOL. LIX.
Walsh's back-his successor on the backs of Walsh's legs His statement of some of the circumstances of the division of the booty was similar to that of Owens. He alleged, however, that the adjustment did not take place until about five o'clock in the evening, and that from the time Mr. O'Connor placed himself on the ditch until that hour he took no refreshment. Mr. Wallace asked, whether the rest of the gang had not taken refreshment. Witness an swered they had. Then, said Mr.W., it appears you acted very unceremoniously towards your captain. On being again. questioned about M'Keon's advice relative to robberies, he admitted that it was against all crimes of that description, as they would only lead to the gallows. He was reminded by Counsel that he gave a different statement before, to which he replied that M'Keon advised both for and against robberies.
John Allen, farmer, was the next witness. He remembered the 4th of October, 1812. He saw Mr. O'Connor on that day, having received a note from that gentleman, desiring him to call on
him. Mr. O'Connor asked whether he had not heard of the mail-robbery of the 2d, and he answered, he had. He then asked, what would witness think if he heard the mail had been found on Dangan demesne? Witness answered, he should be sorry to hear it was the case, as, from the circumstance of a bag having before been found there, it would have a bad appearance in the country. O'Connor then brought him into a room, and showed him, lying on a table, the mail bags, some newspapers, lottery tickets, P