Bill Donnelly's Views on Father Connolly's Actions - How the Family Suffered Years Ago.

In an interview with a reporter on Friday, William Donnelly said:- "In the first place I wish to deny the statement that I got up a petition to the Bishop for the removal of Father Connelly. I have hitherto refrained from dragging the name of the Bishop or the priest in this affair, but in justice to myself and them I must do so. After the Vigilance Committee had searched on my father's premises for Thompson's cow I wrote a letter to Bishop Walsh, acquainting him with the state of things in the township. I told him of the formation of the Committee; that I understood Father Connolly was at the head of it, and that I was satisfied there were some men on the Committee who wished to end our family; also that I was not aware that the Catholic Church allowed a sworn party to exist in its midst, and that if he wished to enquire about our characer he could refer to Patrick Nangle, Stehphen McCormick, Dennis D'Arcy, Michael Crunnican, J. P., James Keefe and Robert Keefe, men of undoubted respectabilty, and who declined to become members of the Committee. I also told the Bishop that Father Connolly was present at two or three law suits against our family, and that I didn't think it was a fit place for a clergyman to be. I went so far to ask him, in the name of God, to do something towards breaking up the organization, or it would end in murder.

[...] The Bishop never answered my letter. He handed it over to Father Connolly, and that was the last I heard of it. It just took five lives to convince them that my prophecy would prove true. There is another fact that the papers do not seem to have got hold of yet, and that is nine years ago my father's barn and contents were entirely destroyed by fire. Also in February, 1878, my house in Usborne was broken into by masked men, who, having tied me to the bed, stole $132 from a trunk. So you will see that the Donnellys did not commit all the depredations it the county. It is told by a man who was a member of the committee that he had to use physical force at one of their meetings to defeat a motion to lynch my brother Tom. [...]

Source: Unknown, "The Biddulph Difficulty," London Free Press, February 23, 1880.

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