Birr County Court April 1851
THE KINGS COUNTY CHRONICLE AND GENERAL PROVINCIAL INTELLIGENCER
Wednesday, 16th April 1851
Circulating extensively in the Kings County, and the Counties of Galway, Tipperary, Limerick, Westheath, Roscommon.
THURSDAY - This morning the Court opened at 10 o’clock.
The following magistrates were present, viz., Thomas Hacket, William B Buchanan, James Drought, John Bennett, Robert Cassidy, J Pearce Groome, H Pollock, R.M. and George Fitzmaurice, R.M. Esqrs.
TRANSPORTATION - A HOPEFUL FAMILY!
Michael Bowen, a tall, athletic young man was indicted for stealing a ram, the property of Thomas Mears, at Cullenwaine, on the 31st March last. He pleaded not guilty.
The principal evidence against the prisoner was that of Constable Powell, and others of the Moneygall Police, who compared the prisoner’s shoes with tracks in the field where the ram was killed, which corresponded exactly; they also proved to finding a quantity of raw mutton in a hag, about 20lbs boiling in a pot. It was 12 o’clock at night when the police visited the prisoner’s domicile; he was then up and when asked what was in the pot, he said it was a trifle of meat which had been purchased in Roscrea.
The prisoner, with more than ordinary tact and ability, cross examined the several witnesses, but all his “special pleading” and “quibbles” were of no avail. The jury returned a verdict of guilty.
His worship in passing sentence, read a long list of offences and sentences passed on the prisoner, and told him that the court had no alternative but to send him out of the country for 10 years.
When the sentence of banishment was pronounced, several members of the prisoners family, who were in the ‘inner bar’ awaiting their trial screamed terrifically, and some of them had to be removed; the prisoner clung pertinaciously to the front of the dock, and endeavoured to extract a pledge from his worship that when his time would be up, the government would assure him a passage back. With the greatest difficulty the prisoner was removed declaring that “in spite’ of all he would return again and vowing revenge on the “Peelers”.
Matthew Bowen (brother of Michael) was then arraigned for stealing a cotton drawers, at Moneygall, to which he pleaded guilty.
It appeared that while the prisoner was confined at Moneygall barracks, on the charge of being concerned in the stealing of Meara’s ram, he contrived to steal a drawers belonging to one of the police, which was found on his in Parsonstown Bridewell, on his arrival.
There was another indictment against the prisoner, for receiving a quantity of mutton, knowing it to have been stolen, but it was not proceeded with.
His worship sentenced the prisoner to four months imprisonment, and told him that if he was again convicted, he would surely follow his brother.
Alicia Bowen (sister to Michael and Matthew Bowen), and Judy Pound were indicted for receiving a quantity of mutton, knowing it to be stolen. The latter was acquitted but the former was sentenced to three month’s imprisonment and hard labour.
John Pound was also indicted for the same offence, and acquitted.(?????!!!!- why?) Maria Burke pleaded guilty to stealing a bag off a car, in the market of Parsonstown, and was sentenced to one months imprisonment.