|Clare County Library
|Genealogy of the O’Cormacain Family of Thomond by John P. McCormack
Nenagh 11 May 1858
Daniel and William (Mc) Cormack of Loughmore, near Templempore, Co. Tipperary, were executed at Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, in 1858 for the murder by shooting of one Ellis. There was no evidence, beyond motive, of their guilt, and their execution was one of the prime contributory factors in the Fenian rising shortly afterward. Their remains were re-interred at Loughmore in 1910, when a huge concourse of people attended in defiance of English government, then in power. A slab on the handsome vault erected to receive the remains bears the inscription given hereunder:
"By the Irish Race in memory of the brothers Daniel and William Cormack who, for the murder of a land agent named Ellis, were hanged at Nenagh after solemn protestation by each on the scaffold of absolute and entire innocence of that crime, the 11th day of May 1858. The tragedy of the brothers occurred through false testimony procured by gold and terror; the action in their trial of Judge Keogh, a man who, considered personally, politically, religiously and officially, was one of the monsters of mankind; and the verdict of a prejudiced, partisan, packed and perjured jury. Clear proof of the innocence of the brothers afforded by Archbishop Leahy to the Viceroy of the day, but he nevertheless gratified the appetite of a bigoted, exterminating and ascendancy caste by a judicial murder of the kind which lives bitterly and perpetually in a nation's remembrance."
The tradition that God signified His wrath on the day of execution by sending down an appalling deluge is commemorated in the following song. The anniversary day is invariably wet and dismal.
The hanging of the Cormack brothers
In the year of fifty eight, my boys,
that was the troublesome time
They accused these boys of murder from
information they had got
"In Mill Killara we were reared,
between Thurles and Templemore,
The song, which is incomplete, was said
to have been written by a man named McCarthy. The actual murderer of Ellis
was said to have been a man named Gleeson from the Templemore area.