The preliminary trial of the parties accused of the murder of the Donnellys, was resumed in London last Thursday, 26th ult.

The first witness examined was County Constable Pope, who testified to arresting Carroll and two of the Mahers. He also swore he heard Carroll say, when he was appointed County Constable, that he would be the cause of the Donnellys being banished from Biddulph.

Mrs. Mary Thompson testified, that James and Bill Carroll slept at her house the night of the murder, and believed they did not go out, as she thought she would have heard them if they did.

Wm. Thompson, husband of the above, corroborated her evidence. He said he was a member of the Vigilance Committee. He became a member by signing a declaration which was lying in the porch of the Church. The declaration was to support law and order, and look for anything that was lost. Father Connelly called attention to it from the pulpit. He said he saw Jas. Carroll and Thos. Ryder at the mettings; he was not sure that he had seen John Purtell there.

Patrick Ryder, sr., Patrick Ryder, jr., the two Mahers, Wm Carroll, Jas. Shea and Mrs. Maher were let out on bail. This closed the proceeding for Thursday.

On Friday, Thompson was cross-examined by Mr. MacMahon, but nothing further of any importance was elicited.

Jas. Feehley was the next witness. He said that once while talking to Carroll the latter had said, the committee would put down the Donnellys.

There was quite a sensation in court when the name of Wm. Donnelly was called, but owing to his absence the re-examination of Mrs. Thompson was proceeded with; but nothing new was drawn from her.

Patrick Keefe testified to having seen Patrick Ryder, jr., riding past his (Keefe's) house about ten o'clock; he was carrying something tied up in white, which witness thought was a gun.

Robert Donnelly, son of the late Jas. Donnelly, was next examined. He swears to finding a club smeared with blood, about ten rods from the scene of the tragedy.

After the testimony of Constable Hodgins, the inquiry was adjourned. [...]

Source: Unknown, "The Biddulph Tragedy - Preliminary Examination," Listowel Banner, March 5, 1880.

Return to parent page