The Kickham Country Weekend in Mullinahone takes place from August 10th, 11th, 12th 2012 and there is lots of events taking place over the weekend to commemorate C.J. Kickham.
Friday, August 10th
7.30 p.m. - Cheese & Wine Reception:
Official opening by Dr. Catriona Clutterbuck, (Dept. of English, UCD.)
8.30 p.m. - Lecture – “The Trial & Execution of the Cormack Brothers at Nenagh 1858”
(Nancy Murphy: Local Historian & Publisher, Nenagh) 10 Euro
Saturday, August 11th
1.30 p.m. - Guided Bus Tour of the Parish of Clonoulty:
(Tour Leader: Mrs. Kitty Barry, Vice-Chairman Tipperary Historical Society.) 15 euro
8.30 p.m. - Lecture – “The Trial & Execution of Fr. Sheehy at Clonmel in 1776”.
(Dr. Frank Holohan, Retd. Inspector, Dept. of Education & Science, Author of History Text Books). 10 euro
Sunday, August 12th
11.30 a.m. - Anniversary Mass for C. J. Kickham and James Maher - Followed by Oration and Laying of Wreaths by
Mr. Jim McCauley (Past President of An Comhaltas).
3.00 p.m. - Poetry Reading & Music – Killaghy Castle Walled Garden:
Guest Poet, Patrick Moran. 5 euro.
Summary of Talks at Kickham Country Weekend, 2012.
Fri. Aug. l0th: “The Trial and Execution of the Cormack Brothers at Nenagh 1858” — Nancy Murphy.
The story of the trial and execution at Nenagh of William and David Cormack, Killahara, in the parish of Loughmore near Thuries, in 1858, will be recounted by Nancy Murphy, a local historian from Nenagh. Of the seventeen men publicly executed outside the County Gaol in Nenagh between 1842 and 1858, their story is the only one that has lived on in folk memory — not only in Tipperary and Ireland, but also in England, Australia, USA and Canada.
The brothers were charged and found guilty of the murder of John Ellis, farm manager and land agent of the Trant estate in Dovea near Thurles. The Crown’s case was built around the evidence of two teenage friends of the Cormacks. (The justice system at that time did not allow the accused to give evidence on his/her own behalf.)
The speaker will cover the key details of the trial, the appeals for reprieve by the accused, by Archbishop Leahy of Cashel & Emly and, most interestingly, by the jury and Judge Nicholas Keogh. She draws on the extended Press coverage of the case before and after the executions. She will also recount the extraordinary revelation by the prosecution’s chief witness as he made his way into exile, courtesy of the Crown. Nancy will conclude with a brief account of the exhumation of their remains in the gaol grounds in Nenagh and their re-burial in Loughmore in May 1910.
Nancy Murphy is the author of ‘Guilty or Innocent? The Cormack Brothers - Trial, Execution & Exhumation’, ‘A Trip through Tipperary Lakeside’, ‘More of Nenagh’s Yesterdays’, ‘Walkabout Nenagh’ and is co-author of ‘Tipperary - a Touring Guidebook’. She is a founder member of the Ormond Historical Society, Nenagh District Heritage Society and Tipperary North Family History Foundation.
Sat. Aug. 11th: ‘The Trial and Execution of Fr. Sheehy at Clonmel in 1776’— Dr. Frank Holohan.
On 12th March, 1776 Fr. Nicholas Sheehy, Parish Priest of Clogheen in the county of Tipperary was tried before a judge and jury at Clonmel on a spurious charge of being an accomplice to the murder of John Bridges, an informer on the Whiteboys.
He was found guilty as charged and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. The sentence was carried out by public hanging on the street outside the present Church of St. Peter and Paul. His body was interred in the ancient graveyard at Shanrahan, near Clogheen, and his head was put on a spike over the gate of Clonmel jail. There it remained for over a dozen years until it was eventually returned to Fr. Sheehy’s sister, Mrs. Burke, who had it buried with Fr. Sheehy’s remains in Shanrahan.
In his lecture on the trial and execution of Fr. Nicholas Sheehy, Dr. Holohan will explore the religious, political, social and economic conditions of mid eighteenth-century Ireland and the particular circumstances prevailing in South Tipperary which gave rise to the judicial murder of Fr. Sheehy at Clonmel.
Dr. Frank Holohan has lectured widely on Irish and European History to History teachers and other groups in Education and has several celebrated History text-books to his name. He lives in Dublin and prior to his retirement was attached to the History Inspectorate of the Dept. of Education & Science. He is an annual visitor to the Kickham Country Weekend and has a keen interest in local history.