Hanged for Murder - The Irish State Executions
Between 1923 and 1954 the Irish state executed 29 people convicted of murder. Their forgotten remains lie in unmarked graves behind the walls of Mountjoy prison, as strange testaments to an abandoned form of punishment.
All executions were carried out in Mountjoy by members of the Pierrepoint family. The last met his fate in the hanghouse of Mountjoy Prison in 1954, but the often shocking and captivating stories of these men and one woman have been largely forgotten.
Among those buried in Mountjoy are Bernard Kirwan, convicted of killing his brother though a body was never conclusively identified - Kirwan's presence in Mountjoy Prison formed the backdrop to Brendan Behan's play The Quare Fellow; Henry McCabe, convicted of killing six people in a house in Malahide; and Annie Walsh convicted of murdering her husband for compensation money.
Most had never been convicted of a crime before each was convicted of resorting to the most serious of all, murder. The voices of some seem to whisper from the unmarked graves that it was not they who carried out the crime as doubts remain about the safety of some of the convictions.
|Publication date||8 Mar 2013|