John McCullagh January 20, 2007
BatonChangeLeavingEdSt.jpg

Eventually in the second half of the nineteenth century the ill-fated Goraghwood to Armagh railway extension was completed. Local papers record that the navvies working on this section were a constant source of trouble in the district.

In 1863 a court case arising seems to have stemmed from a minor scuffle.
 

A group of about twenty navvies caught the last train from Edward Street Station one Saturday night and were locked into their carriage by the guard, Pat Montgomery, because he considered them ‘rather hearty’.

One Pat Kelly then complained that he had lost a cap worth 2/6d and a handkerchief worth 3/-. He was let out of the carriage to search for them. When the train was moving off Kelly tried to board it again but the guard pulled him back. A witness recounted,

‘I saw the companions inside pulling him into the carriage. Montgomery seized him by the hinder part. The train went off without Kelly or Montgomery and Montgomery lost four teeth.’

However, the witness, a watchman on the train, admitted,

‘I can’t even swear it was the prisoner [Kelly] gave the kick!’

However Kelly was found guilty and although his solicitor Mr Murphy pleaded,

‘He has been in custody for nearly three weeks and I think a small pecuniary fine would suffice’,

The judge sentenced him to one week’s imprisonment – as he said –

‘in order to make up a month.’

 


Nowadays Kelly would be successfully suing the railway company and its employee for assault and battery to his ‘hinder part’!

 

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