Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Stories from Old Newspapers

 Cork Examiner 15 October 1849

Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

On last Friday, five policemen came to my house, and ransacked every corner for papers, but found none. They seized three guns and a naval sword, which I had in that service some twenty years ago. One of the guns was registered; the other two were left by a young friend who brought them for his amusement. On returning to college, he said his brother would be with me in a day or two, and it would not be worthwhile to remove them. The latter had a shooting license and would bring the guns home…They are now forfeited, as well as my own. Verily this is the level of freedom with a vengeance! T’would make you smile to see old empty cannisters, powder-horns, without tops, and broken moth eaten shot belts that hung on a rack for more than 20 years…They dragged me to prison where I remained until Tuesday evening when I was admitted with the greatest reluctance to bail-two sureties in £100 each, myself the same – I was accommodated in which was a heap of straw, sewed up in the coarsest sack-cloth, and blankets not too heavy.

Each day, I passed in a narrow yard with a precious crew. On Saturday I was brought before the Justices, and placed in the dock, asking myself, if the prisoners would change places with their Worships (excepting one). I there stood charged with having unregistered arms; and to prove my guilt, and shame me before the world (how shamed I felt) were my iniquities emptied on the green cloth, in the shape of guns, old pistols…and everything that could wage war against partridge and Peelers. All this ‘pomp and circumstance’ was, of course, to vindicate the majesty of the law. There were strict orders given that none should visit me in prison, but…I was told bail would be taken. Two immediately stood forward; one of them as respectable as any in Dungarvan was objected to by a J.P., who in reality was the less respectable of the two. I was of course, puzzled to know why I was singled out. At last the stipendiary let out that they suspected me for getting out John O’Mahony (Fenian) last year. What think you of this?

John Kennedy, Cove Hill, Ballyvoile, Dungarvan, 11 October 1849   

Dungarvan Jail Circa 1900


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