|Clare County Library||
|The Delahunty Family History:
From Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland to Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
by Catherine Delahunty
Chapter 7: The Leaving of Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland c. February 1883
Mr Monaghan, QC, sat in the courthouse today and resumed the inquiry into the applications for compensation under the Crimes Act.
Mr Fitzgerald, BL, appeared for the applicants and Mr McInerney, BL, for the ratepayers of the district.
The first and only applicant to be heard today was that of Elizabeth Doloughty who wants the sum of £3,000 for the murder of her husband John Doloughty on the 10 July 1882.
Mr Fitzgerald stated the case for the applicant and asked that she should be amply compensated.
Elizabeth Doloughty deposed - “I am the wife of John Doloughty, and live at Drumdoolaghty in the Parish of Doora, about two and a half miles out of Ennis. My husband was herd to Mr James Lynch. I recollect James Lynch getting the farm after we took up the holding. My husband continued to herd for Lynch when Mr Hynes was dispossessed. I remember the night a meeting was held in Ennis, some men came to the door and said not to herd for any person but the former tenant, they should visit us again. This was about three years ago. I remember the last harvest months. Three men came in with guns and masks about nine o’clock at night. They fired several shots, and said they would take my husband’s life. They swore him to stop herding within a week. The shots were fired over his head. He was eating his dinner at the time they put him on his knees. On the 9 July last myself and my husband came to Mass to Ennis, it being Sunday. My husband after me on the road. We were at Mass together. Saw him in Ennis after Mass, he spoke to me for a few minutes. I do not know where he went to. I went into the Convent and remained about an hour when I left for home. Found my husband on the road near Knockaneane on the grass; he was covered with blood. I fainted. When I revived I placed his head on my knee and wiped the blood and asked him who killed him and he said “Francy.” He was brought home and died at 10 o’clock next night. He was 44 years of age. Was able to plough. I have seven children. The eldest is 17 years and the youngest 2 years, five boys and two girls. I have been boycotted since the execution of Francy Hynes on the 11 September. No one speaks to us. I am under police protection. There is a police hut close to my house. The police were in my house and escorted me to Ennis on yesterday.” Cross-examined by Mr McInerney - “Someone brought a car to take my husband home. Rev Fr Scanlan said Mass. There was a big funeral. The neighbours assisted in washing and helping lay husband in the coffin. He was well-known in the locality. I was 18 years married when my husband was killed. He was about my own age. I was not twenty when I married. Forty-four years old was my husband at the murder. My son did not ask employment after the murder. He would not get it. I attend a (illegible) since the execution. No one has interfered with me.”
It is not known what compensation Elizabeth received, however it must have been considerable for on 2 March 1883 the family left Gravesend, London on board the “Indian Empire”, bound for Dunedin, New Zealand. No doubt some local sympathy for Elizabeth disappeared when she applied for the compensation under the Crimes Act as this was a tax against the ratepayers of the district to act as a deterrent against crimes of this nature.