Place of migration
Stayed in Ireland

Donegal Vindicator, Saturday May 2 1931 (28/04/31

Donegal woman shot Dead

Armed Sea-Fight on Lough Swilly.

Man Surrounded by Soldiers.

An appalling tragedy occurred in a remote district of Glenvar, Rathullan on Tuesday, when a middle aged spinster, named Annie Tinney of Bunaton, Glenvar was shot dead.

The deceased was gathering sticks about mid-day in her field close to her home at the time.

Late last evening a man named John Herritty Junr, aged about 50, who is a native of the same district was formally charged with the murder and Superintendent P.J.Cronin, Letterkenny, who charged him he replied “I am making no statement against the thing”

The peaceful town land of Glenvar and the quiet waters of Lough Swilly resounded to the discharge of shots from rifles,shot-guns and revolvers as Guards,detectives and Military in rowing boats and a motor launch, endeavoured to capture Herritty, who shortly after the shooting is stated to have rushed to his little rowing boat and holding a shot-gun made out towards the sea.

A brother of the deceased who was near the scene of the tragedy, fled for his life and sent a message to the local curate, Rev C.H.McDevitt who arrived ten minutes afterwards and the administered the last sacraments to the poor woman before she expired. Death took place three-quarters of an hour after the shooting.

The Rathmullan guards were communicated with and in company with Sergeant Carroll visited the scene. They found Heritty out on his boat on the Lough and within speaking distance but could not persuade him to land. Under Superintendent Cronin a party of Guards and detectives arrived later when Herritty was still adamant when asked to came ashore.


Setting out in a boat rowed by two residents of the neighbourhood two detectives and three Guards proceeded towards Herritty who moved off as they advanced and again refused to come nearer. The Guards fired in the air to frighten him but to no purpose. Lying on one side, he shielded himself against possible shots with the side of the boat. When the Guards were within forty yards of him, Herritty discharged two volleys from his gun and wounded two detectives and two Guards.

On failing to induce him to land the Guards came ashore and Herritty followed to within twenty yards of the land. From the cliffs overlooking the scene Father McDevitt who had remained on the scene appealed in Irish to Herritty to come in he refused however and the Guards immediately communicated with the Free State Military at Buncrana.


While the message was being discharged a dredger arrived in the vicinity. The Guards signalled it to come close with the intenion of covering the occupants of the boat. Herritty saw the signal and moved in impossibly close connection of the dredger. Late in the evening a military boat bearing Capt Tynan, Lieut Powell, Sergeant Major Cox and three Privates after searching along Fahan shore for a considerable time arrived on the scene and Herritty was gradually manoeuvred between Glenvar End. At 7:30 in the evening he was still uncaptured and bidding difiance to both Police and Military, the former now occupying positions ashore.   

(Next piece missing, no paper clippings)

Witness Statements

John Tinney (brother)

He last saw her alive that morning about nine o’clock in the house when he went to work. While he was working he saw his sister going up with the cows. He noticed John Herritty running down the country lane towards his sister. His sister was then in the field on her way home about 11 0’clock. He did not see a weapon in Herritty’s hand but heard shots and seen his sister falling down.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 8th May 1891
Date of Death 28th Apr 1931

Some communities associated with this ancestor

Some ancestors associated with these communities

Some buildings associated with these communities


Close this