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Mary Ann Kelly

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Mary Ann Kelly

Post by Karen on Thu 11 Apr 2013 - 12:33

The following article is about a Mary Ann Kelly, who testified at a murder trial in Dublin against a Fenian member. She deposes that she was an informant even before that trial in 1882. Could she have been an informant during the Phoenix Park murder trial?


In Dublin, on Monday, the trial of Joseph Poole for the murder of John Kenny, on July 4, 1882, was commenced at the Court-house, Green-street, before Mr. Justice Murphy. The prisoner was brought from Kilmainham Gaol, accompanied by a strong escort of police. When the Court sat at 11 o'clock there was a comparatively small attendance of spectators. As the case proceeded, however, the Court-house became filled.
The Attorney-General, The MacDermot, Q.C., and Mr. P. O'Brien, Q.C., conducted the prosecution with Mr. G. Bolton, Crown solicitor, and the prisoner was defended by Dr. Webb, Q.C., and Mr. M'Inerney, instructed by Mr. Walsh, solicitor.
The prisoner is a man about 30 years of age, rather below the middle height, and slightly bald, but with a flowing beard. He seems to possess more than average intelligence for a man of his class. He is a tailor by trade.

The Attorney-General then stated the case on the part of the Crown. The main facts have been repeatedly the subject of judicial inquiry, and will be easily brought to the recollection of the reader. On the night of the 4th of July, 1882, a man named John Kenny, in the employment of the Port and Docks Board, was murdered under the railway arch at Seville-place, and on his body there were no less than 12 wounds. Eight of these were incised wounds, caused by stabs, and four were wounds caused by pistol shots. Counsel claimed that there was overwhelming proof that the prisoner was responsible for the assassination, although the Crown did not expect to be able to bring forward any evidence to show that it was he who actually fired the shots or inflicted the stabs. They believed they would be able to show that Kenny was lured to the place by the prisoner. Poole was an active member of the Fenian Brotherhood, as was also Kenny, Poole being the centre of the circle to which the murdered man belonged.
Kenny was suspected of betraying the secrets of the Fenian organization, and he was judged and condemned to death. Poole was perfectly well aware of this, and told a man named Lamie some time before the assassination that Kenny was to be murdered, and that he (Poole) was to meet Kenny. After the murder Poole proceeded to Lamie's house and told him Kenny was gone. "Where?" said Lamie. "He is killed," replied Poole. A man named Geoghegan, who had been discovered in England with considerable trouble, would prove that at one time he lodged in the same house with Poole, and that on the night of the murder the latter came to him and said Kenny would tell no more tales. Poole then removed some papers and went to the house of a person named Grundy, who was now undergoing imprisonment. The prisoner was subsequently arrested in Lamie's house on suspicion of being concerned in the murder. The evidence was at that time exceedingly defective, and intimidation was extensively resorted to to prevent witnesses from giving evidence. Counsel contended that it was plain now that the murder was the result of a deliberate plot.

A map of the scene of the murder having been given in evidence, Mrs. Sarah Kenny, the widow of the deceased, was examined by the Solicitor-General, and deposed that Kenny and Poole were in Cannon-street on the night of the murder at about eleven o'clock and that they went out. She had seen Poole once before. Both men seemed to have taken some drink. When Poole stood up to go the deceased said he would see him "out of the lane." They left the room together. She never saw her husband alive again. She remained up until two o'clock that night waiting for him.
In cross-examination she said that Poole and her husband appeared to be on friendly terms. The deceased was fired at about a year before by a man named James Byrne. She had been brought from America to be examined at the trial.

Mrs. Mary Ann Kelly, the owner of the house, said she could not identify the prisoner. When asked if anyone had threatened her, she said three men came to her place last Friday, but she could not tell why they came, and they did not say anything about "Joe Poole." The men asked for her husband. She mentioned the fact of their coming because she was frightened by it. When pressed by the Attorney-General, she stated that they did not speak to her at all, but to Mrs. Kenny, and that she was herself in bed at the time. She was called an informer in 1882, but not in reference to Poole. Poole said to Kenny, when the latter proposed to leave the house with him, "I do not want you to go with me." She was called an informer on the 18th of August, and assaulted in a quarrel with a neighbour. The quarrel did not arise about Poole.

Patrick Kelly proved that on the night of the murder he was in bed ill. Kenny, who was a lodger, came in and gave him some whisky. Subsequently Kenny brought in another man and introduced him as Mr. Poole. The witness shook hands with Poole, who then went out of the room. He could not identify the man, but thought he was dark, and had a black moustache. (The prisoner has brown hair and a sandy moustache.)

Mr. Edward Ennis deposed that he was standing about half-past twelve o'clock on the night of the murder at the corner of Amiens-street. He heard the voices of men in altercation near the arch of the railway, and the altercation was quickly followed by four shots. He heard the reports and saw the flashes, and almost immediately afterwards he heard a woman's voice dying away in the opposite direction. She was crying out "Police!" and "Murder!" Soon after this a man joined him, and they both went in the direction of the noise. A girl joined them in Seville-place and pointed out the spot where the body was lying.
They afterwards proceeded to the police barracks and gave information. He saw no person running in his direction. There were evidently two or three persons engaged in the altercation. The shots he should think proceeded from one weapon.

Mr. G. Browne, 9, Seville-place, said there were five houses between his residence and the railway arch. On the night of the murder about half-past twelve o'clock he was in his house reading a newspaper, when he heard an altercation. He went to his door and listened. He heard the sound of blows as if some person was being beaten with a stick. He heard after each blow a person cry out, "Oh, don't, oh don't," in a weak tone of voice. There were five or six blows. He walked slowly down the steps and in the direction whence the noise proceeded. After he had gone some distance he heard four shots in succession. Immediately after the shots two men came from under the arch where the body was afterwards found. They ran at first by the side of the archway and then ran towards him. On seeing them coming towards him he turned round and went up the steps of his house as quickly as he could and closed the door. He heard the footsteps pause opposite his house, almost simultaneously with his closing the door. He then heard the men running off in the direction, as he thought, of Amiens-street. The men appeared to be respectably dressed - not like labourers or mechanics. By the way they were running he would judge that they were sober.

Messrs. W.F. M'Farlane and William H. Milligan proved to hearing shots and the cries of a woman calling out "Murder!" and "Police!" Mrs. Margaret Lawson gave similar evidence. She saw two men running away. They halted opposite Mr. Browne's house. She saw a third man opposite her own house. Only two men ran across the road towards Mr. Browne's house.

Mrs. Christina Reilly proved to being in Seville-place on the night of the assassination with her husband. Hearing the shots, they went and found Kenny lying under the arch. On seeing them he opened his mouth and eyes as if trying to speak, and then died. She cried out "Murder!" "Police!"

Dr. William Stoker described the wounds on the body. One was on the top of the shoulder, six were under the left arm, the skin of the chin was partially removed, and there were some bruises on the neck. All these were punctured wounds, and might have been inflicted by a gouge. There were besides four bullet wounds in the body.

William Lamie, the prisoner's brother-in-law, was next examined, and seemed much flurried and excited when giving his evidence. He stated that in July, 1882, the prisoner and he were both members of the Stephenite party of the Fenian organization. Kenny had been a member of the same circle. Poole had spoken to witness about Kenny, and said that it was understood Kenny had given information. Poole did not then, but did afterwards, speak of something that was to be done to Kenny. Before the murder he said that Kenny might be shot for giving information. He did not say anything about himself shooting Kenny. The witness knew that Poole was to meet Kenny on the night when the latter was shot. A day or two before the murder Poole told witness that he was to meet Kenny. The witness met Poole on the Monday evening, and told him he might meet Kenny in his (witness's) place. They went out together to a raffle at the house of "widow Morans." It was not a resort of the Fenians at that time, but it was afterwards. They remained till closing time.
The witness went away first, and Poole and Kenny went together. That was the last time he saw Kenny alive. He went home and went to bed. In the course of the night Poole came in and told him that Kenny was gone. The witness said, "Where?" and the prisoner said he was dead. Poole said, "Come over to Grenville-street," where he was living, and witness went with him.
He told witness on the way that Kenny was attacked under the arch, and that one of the men said they might as well have chisels, and that Kenny shouted, "Oh, Joe!" Poole said he wanted to go to Grenville-street to remove papers which, he understood, belonged to the organization. The witness went inside the hall door, and Poole took off his boots and went upstairs.
He did not remain long there, and when he came down again he put on his boots, and they went back to Castle-street. They afterwards went to Grundy's in Gardiner's-lane, and had breakfast. It was daylight then. Grundy was in the Fenian organization. A man named Meagher was treasurer in the same circle. They went to him, and Poole got money from him, and Poole, Grundy, and witness spent the day drinking together. Poole was arrested the same day on the witness's stairs. Cross-examined, witness said that during the Maamtrasna trials, while the Maamtrasna witnesses were at Ballybough, he went in command of a body of men to inspect the house in which they were with the intention of blowing it up with dynamite. In reply to further questions
in cross-examination, the witness stated that on the day of the murder Poole and he, together with Mrs. Lamie and a girl named Rosanna Byrne, were drinking and chatting together. In the evening they went to a raffle, which was for the benefit of Thomas M'Garry, who was in the order under Daniel Curley. Rosanna Byrne was the daughter of a Centre, who bore Poole ill-will on account of the girl's sister. In a fit of jealousy he fired at Poole in the street, and had since been hiding. The witness was an officer of the council party in the Fenian organization before the formation of the Vigilance Committee. He was asked whether the object of that committee was not to murder people, and he answered that it was to silence them. When pressed to say whether it was not to silence them by murder, he replied, "Yes." He added that he had himself reported Poole to the Board of Centres with a view to his being put to death. That was before the Vigilance Committee was formed, but Joe Mullett told him that when it was formed Poole's case would be the first taken up. That did not count for much in the organization, for his own wife was to be left a widow too.

Francis Geoghegan, a lodger in the house in Grenville-street, deposed that on the morning after the murder, at about two o'clock, he heard Poole talking to somebody, and heard him say that Kenny would not tell any more tales. He then heard muffled feet going into Poole's room.
Mrs. Brady, the landlady of the house, also swore that she heard muffled feet going into Poole's room.
At this stage the trial was adjourned.

Source: Aberdare Times, 17 November 1883, Page 3

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: Mary Ann Kelly

Post by Karen on Thu 11 Apr 2013 - 12:35


In Dublin, on Monday, the second trial of Joseph Poole for the murder of John Kenny commenced in the Court-house, Green-street. The Crown was represented by the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, The MacDermot, Q.C., and Mr. Peter O'Brien, Q.C.
The prisoner was defended by Dr. Webb, Q.C., and Mr. C.H. Teeling.

Before the jury panel was called over, Dr. Webb raised an objection to the trial proceeding on the ground that in the Crimes Act, which governed the prosecution, it was provided that the prisoner should have ten days' notice, but in this case, which he contended was quite distinct from the first trial, no notice had been received.

The Attorney-General replied that the point, if there was anything in it, might have been raised in four capital cases tried in the country, but it had not been raised. He contended, however, that it was untenable, because the first trial was abortive, and that in law the trial could not be regarded
as a trial at all. Therefore, the notice which the prisoner had received held good.
Mr. Justice Murphy said he had no doubt whatever that the notice was not exhausted until there was a verdict one way or the other, the notice was merely for the purpose of giving information to the prisoner that he would be tried by a special jury. The notice was, he held, a regular one.
Dr. Webb said this was a question of jurisdiction and of tribunals, and asked his Lordship to reserve the point.
His Lordship said he would do so if he thought there was any possibility of doubt in the case, but as he did not he must refuse the application.
Dr. Webb then asked that the matter should be entered on the records of the Court, in order that he might be at liberty to move for an arrest of judgment and a writ of error, and then carry the point to the highest tribunal.
His Lordship said there could be no objection to that, and made an order accordingly.

The jury panel was then called over, and of the 200 jurors on the panel 107 answered to their names. A respectable jury of mixed creeds was sworn to try the case. The Solicitor-General made the statement for the prosecution. The evidence was substantially the same as on the first trial.

Mrs. Kenny, widow of the deceased, repeated her evidence. Her husband, she said, was 33 years of age at the time of his death. She was in bed when her husband and Poole came in, and did not get up at all. They had both taken some drink, deceased particularly, "but nothing to signify." In reply to Mr. Teeling, she stated that her husband was about a head taller than Poole. She objected to her husband going to Byrne's house, but that was not through jealousy of either of Byrne's three daughters. She never heard that an intimacy existed between Kenny and one of Byrne's daughters, and that that was the reason why Byrne fired at him a year before the murder. Her husband on one occasion remained all night in Byrne's house.

Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Kelly proved that Kenny and a man named Poole, whom they said they could not identify, came to the house on the night in question, and left together. Mrs. Kelly admitted to counsel for the Crown that between twelve and one o'clock on the morning of the 10th inst. three men came to her house, knocked and demanded admittance. On being admitted they said to her, "If you or your husband give evidence against Joe Poole we will do away with you." One of the men was about forty years of age, 5ft. 9in. in height, and had on a soft Jerry hat and light clothes. The other two men were aged about thirty years, and were dressed in the same way.

John Kelly, the landlord of the house, gave similar evidence. Other witnesses were examined, who proved that they heard an altercation and blows followed by shots, and that they saw the prisoner running away.
The further hearing of the case was adjourned.

Source: Aberdare Times, 24 November 1883, Page 3

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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