Catherine Kendrigan

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Catherine Kendrigan (c. 1837 – May 1853), murder victim.

Kendrigan was a native of the parish of Kiltullagh, midway between the towns of Athenry and Loughrea. She worked as a servant in a pub or shebeen in the area, owned by William Connors.

She was sent to Loughrea, with seven shillings and six pence to buy bread, veal, wine and other items. She passed the entrance gates to Dunsandle Castle and reached the bridge over the river at Toolooubaune, about four o clock in the afternoon. There she was met by John Hurley from nearby Bookeen. Hurley was aged about twenty-four, and had also worked for the Connors family before been dismissed a fortnight previously for dishonesty.

Men and women working in the area later described hearing screams coming from the direction of the bridge at around that time of day.

Constable George Humphries found the body covered with hay, invisible from the bridge but with a great deal of blood around the stones and on the ground. The veal and bread were nearby, and her purse contained a single farthing. It was determined that Catherine's death was the result of head injuries, her skull having been fractured by a blow behind the left ear. Her face had cuts and bruises, and a cut was found in the middle of her throat.

John Hurley was seen drinking heavily in Loughrea that evening, wearing new clothes, and in the company of prostitutes.

Witnesses included Bedilia Connors, daughter of William Connors; Margaret Dolan of Bookeen;, William Daniel, gardener at Dunsandle; Daniel's boy, 14-year-old John White; Michael Fallon, herder for Dunsandle and his boy, John Connolly; Matilda Callinan of Loughrea; John Fennessy; constable George Humphries of Bookeen; Henry Cloran, MD, of Loughrea. Over twenty witnesses were called for the prosecution, none for the defence. The trial lasted six hours, and Hurley was found guilty. He was hung in Galway.


  • The District of Loughrea: Vol. I History 1791-1918, pp. 95–96,100,104. ISBN 0-9546567-0-9

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