[...] Preparing for the Inquest.



Lucan, February 8.- This village which usually presents a very quiet and dull appearance, except when the hour for service in some of its churches arrives or the congregations are returning to their homes after the service are closed, was unusually lively to-day. Sleighs and cutters, laden with men anxious to hear the news and see for themselves the remains of the


where the tragic scenes of only a few nights ago occurred, poured in from all directions. They came from Exeter, St. Mary's, London, and from all parts of the surrounding country, and with a sense of horror and sadness they looked, while they were pointed to the spot where lay


who, while praying, but in vain, that her murderers would give her but a few moments to prepare for death, was murdered. Also, where lay the ashes of one young in years, who had spent but one short year in Biddulph, and who knew not the plottings of the Donnelly band; one, too, who had cried for mercy from the hands of the midnight murderers, but had prayed in vain.


This morning large crowds attended the Catholic Church thinking Father Connolly would make further allusion to the horrible murder. He was too much overcome, however, by the dreadful nature of the affair among his parishioners to conduct the services, and Rev. Father Dillon, of London, arrived to relieve him, by whom High Mass was conducted. Immediately before the delivery of the sermon by the latter, the venerable Father Connolly stepped forward to the front of the altar and called upon the congregation to offer up prayers to Almighty God for the repose of the souls of those poor murdered people. He hoped they would also pray for those who had for the time being lost their


He hoped the neighbors would see to it that they wanted for nothing. He would like to go and see them and comfort them, but he had been overworked lately and was unable at present to do so. For his own part, he said he was overcome by the


which had occurred in their midst, because he had never expected that anything like it would happen where he was parish priest. At this point the aged pastor paused, being unable to proceed, his heart too full for utterance, and he seemed as if he would like to retreat from the place and seek repose where he would never hear the subject again alluded to. He trusted there was nothing wrong with his people, but a keen observer could not fail to notice that the


was hoping against hope that while he publicly trusted that his people were free from the blood of the murdered family that he secretly feared he might be then addressing some of those whose strong arms had carried death into the murdered family. After recovering himself, the rev. gentleman slowly proceeded to state that his brother Dillon, from London, had come from London to assist and comfort him in his trouble. He hoped that his people would look to Almighty God for strength to bear up against this great calamity. They all knew since he came among them that he had done his best to promote peace and good will among his people both by precept and example. He had often advised them to shun the paths that led to sin and lawlessness, and he felt assured that if they had taken his advice much of the trouble with which they had been afflicted would not have been known among them. He hoped they would turn over a new leaf and live righteously and soberly for all time to come. That they will improve the approaching season of Lent, which commences next Ash Wednesday, and if they attended church, they would bring down the blessing of God on that afflicted congregation.


Speaking of this member of the family, the Thorold Post says on Wednesday morning, our townsman, Mr. Patrick Donnelly (of the firm Becker & Donnelly) received a telegram from Lucan, stating that his father, mother, two brothers, and his cousin, had been murdered by a mob, and Mr. Donnelly took his departure for Lucan by the noon train. Much sympathy has been expressed for Mr. P. Donnelly in the terrible bereavement he has sustained. His reputation since his advent in Thorold has been that of a quiet, industrious young man, and all feel sorry that his relatives should have met such an untimely end. It is to be hoped that speedy retribution will follow those who committed these lawless acts.


As the prisoners now in custody have been brought in at intervals, we present below a full list of those now in custody.
John Kennedy.
James Maher.
Martin McLaughlin.
James Ryder.
Patrick Ryder.
James Carroll.
John Maher.
John D'Arcy.
Patrick Ryder, jun.
Michael Heenen.
John Purtell.
Wm. Carroll.
Thomas Ryder.


Lucan, February 8.- A great deal of indignation is felt here at the grossly partial statements of the Free Press. Through all the reports of that journal the villagers discern a desire to place the Donnelly family in the wrost possible light, and to exalt the murderers. This is decidedly unfair, and now that the public mind has cooled somewhat it realises fully the horrible atrocity of the midnight assassination, and people will not brook any attempt to free the murderers from the penalty of their foul deed.


Comments of the Outside Press.

Horror-stricken as the entire community at the Lucan tragedy, the immediate region in which the deed of blood and fire was consummated is perfectly appalled at the law-defying butchery which has sent five members of one family to their last account, and brought the law-abiding reputation of the peope of Canada into contempt and disgrace. The victims of this deliberate and wholesale murder may be all they have been represented - and worse, if this were possible - for they certainly were a thoroughly bad lot, and the terror of their neighborhood. But all this does not justify the cowardly murder of them by a gang of masked ruffians, who, in carrying out the sentence of Judge Lynch upon the Donnellys, were guilty of a crime at least as black as anything of which the depraved and doomed family had ever been guilty. - [Kingston Whig.

Nothing can be said too severe of the perpetrators of the horrible massacre at Lucan. That men, women and children should be attacked while quietly sleeping, and indiscriminately struck down; that the villany should not have been confined to a single household: and that the murder should be supplemented and complicated by arson, all render this crime one of exceptional atrocity. That it could be deliberately planned and executed by a considerable number of neighbors, all living ostensibly like honest, quiet, and perhaps religious men, without any of them interfering by remontrances, or failing remonstrances, by more active measure of repression, is not the least remarkable part of the extraordinary circumstances. - [Montreal Herald.

Source: Unknown, "The Tragedy," London Advertiser, February 9, 1880.

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