Two Cormacks Who Died Innocent in Front of Nenagh Gaol, The
DESCRIPTION: The condemned stand on the trap and proclaim their innocence. "The day of their execution, as they stood on the drop, The thunder came so dreadful that it did the people shock." At their death "the thunder still continued, with both lightning and rain"
EARLIEST DATE: 1858 (Zimmermann)
KEYWORDS: execution homicide trial storm lament Ireland political
May 11, 1858 - William and Daniel Cormack, or McCormack, are hanged for murder. (source: Zimmermann)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Zimmermann 64, "The Lamentation of the Two Cormacks Who Died Innocent in Front of Nenagh Gaol" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: For another broadside on the same subject see Bodleian, Harding B 19(10), "Lamentation of The Two M'Cormacks Who Were Innocently Hanged at Nenagh Gaol" ("Come all yon Roman Catholics, I hope you will attend"), unknown, n.d.; also 2806 b.9(272), 2806 c.15(231), "Lamentation of The Two M'Cormacks Who Were Innocently Hanged at Nenagh Gaol" [the texts for this ballad are the same]
This broadside adds some details: the brother's names are William and Daniel, the murdered man's name is Ellis, and the judge's name is Keogh. It says nothing about the storm at the hanging.
Zimmermann: "A land agent detested by the people was shot near Templemore, County Tipperary, on 22nd October, 1857. Two brothers ... were charged with the murder upon very suspect evidence.... According to the Tipperary Examiner, 'the [execution] day was beautifully fine....' In the following weeks the excitement increased, and on 30th August, from twelve to fifteen thousand men assembled in a protest meeting on the place of the execution."
Zimmermann also refers to "a broadside ballad entitled 'The Memory of the two McCormacks Who Was Hanged at Nenagh Gaol', printed and sold in County Tipperary in 1908." - BS
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