Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Friday, November 1, 2013

'Hanged on Ballybricken Hill' - by Pat McCarthy

On Friday 25th October a large audience gathered to hear Dr Pat McCarthy deliver his lecture on capital punishment in Waterford in the 19th century.

We learned that originally it was the custom to hang the convict at -or near- the scene of the crime, then later near the jail, and eventually within the walls of the jail. One had little chance of appeal, with the execution taking place within 24 or 48 hours after the judgement. It was a very hit-and-miss affair, since the executioner was usually a fellow convict.

No details-as gruesome as they might have been- were spared, and reactions from the public as Pat talked, proved that everybody was very much 'hanging onto his every word'...

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