Ballyshannon Court Notes, Co Donegal


Extracts from the Strabane Morning Post

These extracts were transcribed by Len Swindley and form part of the Donegal Genealogy Resources Website

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July 2, 1822

On the night of Wednesday last, or early on Thursday morning, NATHANIEL BROGAN, of Ballyshannon, under sentence of Transportation, and CHARLES GALLAGHER, alias CHARLEY PRIEST, also of Ballyshannon, attempted to make their escape from Lifford Gaol, by raising the flagged flooring under their cell, and then working a passage to the yard, through two doors; but were prevented from accomplishing their object, by the strict watch kept by JOHN HUNTER, the turnkey, whose attention to the security and comfort of the unfortunate prisoners committed to his care, deserves the highest praise.

April 8 1823


JOHN McGARRIGLE, JAMES McENTIRE, CHARLES JUDGE, DANIEL MICHAEL, and OWEN McGARRIGLE, charged with pulling down a house near Ballyshannon, the property of MARY McGARRIGLE - Guilty - to be imprisoned for one year - and to be publicly whipped through the town of Ballyshannon, from the bridge to the Fair green, on the following days; on the 12th of April, 21st of June, and 18th of September

August 24 1824


ALICIA LEONARD and MARGARET, alias MARY McMANUS, for stealing wearing apparel at Ballyshannon – Guilty: To be transported 7 years

 August 1 1826


ELIZABETH DONAGHER, for exposing her newly-born infant in a field near Ballyshannon, for the purpose of deserting it - to be imprisoned 12 months.

May 29 1827


Whereas, JOSEPH DIXON THORNLY late Clerk to the Collector of His Majesty’s Customs, at Killybegs, and lately residing at Ballyshannon, in the County of Donegal, stands charged upon oath, with having committed Diverse Frauds whilst acting in that situation.

Now, the Commissioners of His Majesty’s Customs, do hereby offer a reward of FIFTY POUNDS, to be paid to any Person, or Persons, who shall, within Six Calendar Months, from the date hereof, arrest, or cause to be arrested, and judged in any of his Majesty’s Goals, the body of the said JOSEPH DIXON THORNLY - or the sum of TWENTY FIVE POUNDS, to any Person, who shall, within the time above-mentioned, give such information, as will lead to his Arrest and Imprisonment.

The said JOSEPH DIXON THORNLY is about 26 years of age - about five feet eight inches high, is of a dark complexion, and has a hesitation in his speech.

Dated at the Custom-house, Dublin, this 25th day of May, 1827

By order of the Commissioners,

C. J. A. MACLEAN, Secretary

April 3 1832



(From the Ballyshannon Herald)


Horrid Outrage --- On Saturday, the 17th inst. four men from Bundoran, who were served with crown summonses to give evidence at the Assizes of Lifford, respecting the armed body of men that paraded through this town on the 9th ult., were way-laid on their return home, about four miles from Stranorlar, and one of them, Thomas Moffat XE "Moffat" , (steward of Colonel Johnston XE "Johnston" , of Bundoran,) was beat in a most savage manner, having received several desperate cuts in his head, and his left arm fractured. From the prompt assistance afforded by Mr. Holmes XE "Holmes"  and Mr. Greer XE "Greer" , of Stranorlar, the poor man’s life has been miraculously preserved; he lies, however, in a very precarious state ever since. Col. Johnston XE "Johnston"  has had communication with the government on the subject, and the Lord Lieutenant promptly ordered a reward to be offered of One Hundred Pounds, for the apprehension of the offenders.


Last week, a turf stack belonging to Lieutenant Rennick XE "Rennick" , H. P. residing near Pettigo, was maliciously burnt, and on the same night, the walls of a house, which was building by David Robinson XE "Robinson" , of same place, were levelled, it is supposed, by the same party. No cause can be assigned for these outrages as Mr. Rennick XE "Rennick"  and Robinson XE "Robinson" , are peaceable men.


A few days ago, Henderson XE "Henderson" , a process-server, was followed by a number of people near Pettigo, while in the act of serving processes; on overtaking Henderson XE "Henderson"  they searched him, and after examining the processes, they selected such as were for the tithe due the Rev. Mr. Richardson XE "Richardson" , which they destroyed, and gave the other back to him; they then cautioned Henderson XE "Henderson"  against serving any processes for tithe in future, adding that they would send him to hell to collect the tithe of that Bishoprick.

August 21 1827


JOSEPH DIXON THORNLEY was indicted, for having defrauded the King of certain Sums of money, by an overcharge of postage, when Pro-collector of the Customs at Ballyshannon.

[There follows a lengthy report on the trial in this newspaper, concluding with .....]

His Lordship proceeded to address the Jury, at some length, who, to the satisfaction of a crowded court, acquitted the traverser, without leaving the box. Thus ended a prosecution which has cost the country about one thousand pounds

 March 18 1834


MARGARET McSHEE for stealing 2 Stuff dresses, and 1 Callico dress, the property of MARGARET M’ADAM on the 7th day of August last, at Ballyshannon. The loss of the dresses was proved by Miss McAdam who is a dressmaker; she found one of them on the prisoner three days after - Guilty: To be transported 7 years

ROSE DOHERTY for having concealed herself in the shop of DAVID CARTER of Ballyshannon, on 21st December last, with intention to steal his goods –Guilty: To be imprisoned 6 months


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Lindel Buckley

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