THE CORMACK BROTHERS
On the 11th May, 1858, two young men were led forth from Nenagh Jail to die on a scaffold that had been erected in front of that grim building. They were William Cormack and his brother, Daniel Cormack, both of Killahara in the Parish of Loughmore. Before they were launched into eternity, both solemnly protested their innocence of the crime for which they had been condemned. As a mark of disapproval and abhorrence for the prostitution of justice, and a manifestation of commiseration for the suffers, not a resident in Nenagh opened his door that morning, and the usual busy streets were deserted. Even the elements seemed to join in repudiation of the foul deed about to be enacted. Darkness and gloom filled the sky, and as the fatal hour drew near, a violent thunderstorm broke over the town at this unseasonable time of the year, filling the hearts of many with a feeling of indescribable awe.
Cormack Brother Mausoleum
The events which culminated in this tragic occurrence had their origin in the preceding year. A protestant Scotchman named John Ellis had been agent to the local landlord, John Trant of Dovea, for about twenty seven years. He resided at Kilrush House, within a few hundred yards of the Cormack’s cabin. This harshness in extracting rents from Trant’s impoverished tenants during the Famine and its aftermath did not endear him to the people among whom he lived. Furthermore, he had purchased certain lands in the neighbourhood in the Encumbered Estates Court, and forthwith proceeded to evict the wretched tenants who had holdings on them, a proceeding that further increased his unpleasant reputation of a cruel heartless and unfeeling tyrant. Common report also had it that his moral character was unsavoury, and it was generally believed that one of the victims of his seduction was a sister of the Cormacks.
Ellis in the course of 27 years became known in the words of the late Rev. E. Hackett, one time P.P. of Loughmore, as the “most notorious and hated of the exterminating hands that reduced the population of the combined parishes of Loughmore and Castleiney from 8,000 to 1,500.” John Ellis was in fact a man whose whole life was as rotten as his reputation.
It is not a matter of surprise then that he made many enemies, and few friends, in the locality. Indeed, so pronounced was the enmity towards him and the fear of assassination that a police barrack was erected in Killahara, across the road from his house, for his protection.
The record tells us but very little about the home life of the Cormack family. Our imagination however, combined with our knowledge of Irish history, can tell us nearly as much as we would like to know about it: for we are only too well aware of how greatly the Catholics, and the Catholic working people especially, suffered at the hands of Protestant Landlordism and its hired hoodlums in the Ireland of that dreadful time.
And the Cormacks were plain Catholic peasantry. We know nothing of their parents, but the family was composed of Willie, Danny and their sisters, Kitty and Nancy, and their home was just one of the thousands of hovels which were so common a sight throughout the country in those days. Neither the boys nor their sisters could have received any education worth mentioning: the brothers were not, in fact confirmed until just before their execution.
Their livings they earned by working for Ellis, whom eventually they had a dual reason for hating the sight of: and the brothers’ unfortunate and outspoken threat to avenge his abuse of their sister was, even without the perjured testimony which sent them to the scaffold, in itself quite sufficient to have them arrested and charged with the murder of Ellis.
The brothers, like their sisters lived, and might also have died, in poverty, hardship and oblivion had not the British law of the time by its fanatical determination to have its pound of flesh as any cost, given their names to history and their souls to glory. On the day that happened Willie Cormack was 23 years old and Danny was only 18.
It was Ellis’s practice to attend the weekly markets in Dublin, taking the train from Templemore or Thurles on Wednesdays and returning on the following night, varying his route from the railway station to Kilrush for his greater safety. On Thursday night 22nd October, 1857, Ellis’s wife directed one of his employees, a youth of 16 or 17 years of age named Tommy Bourke, to take a horse and car to Templemore Railway Station to convey his master home. On the return journey, at about 11 p.m. they had proceeded a few hundred yards along the narrow road leading from the Thurles-Templemore road to Kilrush, when they came upon some bushes placed upon the road. Bourke got off the car to remove them. A shot rang out from behind the hedge, and Ellis fell dead with seven slugs lodged in the region of the heart. Bourke immediately jumped on the car and galloped the horse to Killahara Police Barrack. A doctor and clergyman were summoned, but Ellis was beyond human aid. None of the five policeman in Killahara was on patrol that night, alleging as an excuse for their negligence that the daughter of one of them informed them that Ellis would not come home that night.
The murder caused a great sensation throughout the country. The bigoted Orange Press got into high gear, not so much denouncing the crime as pouring a torrent of abuse on the Catholic Church and the bishops and clergy as the source of all the country’s ills, and attributing to them, by some mysterious process of reasoning, the blame for this and every other outrage that took place. Vengeance was demanded, and the Government was reminded that if sufficient blood-money was offered, little difficulty would be experienced in procuring a victim for the gallows, advice which the Dublin authorities were not slow in taking.
Within a week, several arrests on suspicion were made, including the Cormack brothers; a policeman’s son named Timothy Spillane, who later turned informer; and Tommy Bourke, the driver of Ellis’s car, who was later the chief Crown witness. A local smith named Patrick Maher was also arrested, as it was alleged that he provided the gun and slugs that killed Ellis. Later on, Spillane gave information that Maher also conspired to murder Colonel Knox of Brittas, and Maher was left languishing in prison for over a year without trial, by which time the character of Spillane was discredited and his evidence would not be accepted in any court. All these were employees of Mr Trant, under Ellis, and had been at a card game at the Cormack’s house on the night of the murder.
The Resident Magistrate in Thurles, John Gore Jones, regarded the Cormacks as the prime suspects, in fact, the only suspects, because of the story of the shame of their sister. All his efforts were directed to drumming up evidence against them and not to the discovery of the truth. In pursuance of this object, he ordered the arrest of a little girl of twelve years of age named Anne Brophy, daughter of Michael Brophy of Kilrush and later of Castletown. On the day of the murder, another young girl, Lizzie Douglas, daughter of a constable in Killahara, asked Anne Brophy if Ellis was coming home that night, for, if he was, he might have some employment for her next day. In a childlike way Anne replied that he would not be home. When Gore Jones heard this, he jumped to the conclusion that Anne was in league with the assassins and was instructed by them to impress upon Lizzie Douglas that Ellis was not coming home that night, so that Lizzie would tell her father, Constable Douglas, and thus ensure that the police would not go on patrol that night and the coast would be clear for the murder. For 60 days she was kept in solitary confinement, and even her parents were debarred from visiting her. On a number of occasions, her father went to remonstrate with Gore Jones but was ordered to be gone, and on one occasion Gore Jones told him that he would be lucky if he escaped the gallows. For the first 16 days Anne was confined in a cold cell in Thurles Bridewell and was only allowed out of it in the morning to wash.
From time to time she was alternately threatened and cajoled by Gore Jones to admit that she knew who the murderers were. As a result of the treatment she got and the fear and terror instilled into her, she fell ill and a doctor had to be called to attend her. She was then whisked off in the dead of night to Nenagh Jail where similar treatment and interrogation was meted out to her without the success which Gore Jones desired. On the 16th December, she was again brought back to Thurles bridewell. Now even her bed was taken away from her cell. At length she became so hysterical that Gore Jones had to release her on the 23rd December. Her parents were not even informed; she was turned out on the street to make her way home as best she could. Her father later brought an action for false imprisonment of his daughter against Gore Jones. Although the jury found for Michael Brophy, all the damages awarded to him were six-pence. The fortitude and constancy of this little girl under such physical and moral violence was the one bright spot in the whole sordid and tragic affair. Such barbarous treatment of a little girl, or indeed of anyone, by an official of the law might be considered impossible in a civilised society, but it was far from uncommon in Ireland in the last century in procuring evidence in agrarian crimes. As the trial of the Cormacks revealed, the combined inducements of terrorism and gold proved more effective on Spillane and Bourke, from Gore Jones’s point of view, than on Anne Brophy.
The trial of the Cormacks opened in Nenagh at the March Assizes in 1858 before Judge William Keogh. Keogh was a native of Galway and was elected M.P. for Athlone in 1847 on the Nationalist and Catholic ticket. With John Sadleir, M.P., of Shronell in the Parish of Lattin, owner of Sadleir’s bank, and other M.P.s, he supported the Tenant Right League which was formed to secure for the down-trodden tenants of Ireland the three F’s – Fair rent, Fixity of tenure, and Free sale of the tenants’ interest in their holdings. In 1852, Keogh founded the Catholic Defence Association, with Sadleir and himself as its chief spokesmen. With a score or so of Irish Liberals, they offered vehement and determined opposition in Parliament to the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, and when it passed they promised that they would have no terms with any British Ministry until the Act was repealed. After the General Election of 1852, the Irish M.P.s held the balance of power. Ireland went wild with joy in the firm expectation that better days were about to dawn, but the joy soon turned to execration and despair. Sadleir and Keogh had turned traitors, sold out their deluded countrymen and accepted office from the British Government. Sadleir was made Lord of the Treasury, and four years later, having defrauded the depositors in his Bank and ruined thousands, he ended his life by poison on Hampstead Heath near London.
At first, the Crown decided that the Cormacks should be arraigned separately, and William Cormack was put on trial. An enormous sensation was created when it became apparent that Spillane and Bourke had been won over as informers, and public animosity and execration knew no bounds. Hopes for the Cormacks ran high, however, when the jury at this trial disagreed, but the Crown was determined not to be deterred by this reverse. The first trial ended on a Saturday. With indecent haste the countryside was scoured on Sunday to find a new panel of jurors, and on Monday morning a new trial opened at which both the Cormacks were arraigned. The new jury was composed of eleven Protestants and one Catholic, and every precaution was taken that all were loyal and trusty men who could be relied upon “to do their duty.” Spillane and Bourke were the chief witnesses for the Crown. Both had been kept in close confinement for nearly five months, and their ready answers made it apparent that they were well schooled in the evidence which they should give.
The substance of Spillane’s evidence was that he was at the card game at Cormacks on the night of the murder; that he accompanied them to the place of the murder and was with them when William Cormack fired the fatal shot. Thus, on his own confession, he was an accomplice, and as such he should be in the dock with the Cormacks on trial for his life. In law, the evidence of an approver was worthless unless corroborated by other unimpeachable testimony, and this was where Bourke’s evidence became so important.
Bourke swore that he also was at the card game; that after it, when going to Templemore for Ellis, he told the Cormacks that Ellis was coming home that night, that at the place of the murder he plainly saw William Cormack with a gun in his hands and behind him Spillane, who carried a wattle, and behind him again Daniel Cormack, who had a bayonet or rake-handle in his hand. The State called various other witnesses but their evidence was only of minor importance.
The Cormacks swore that they had nothing to do with the murder; that they went to bed after the card game and did not go out later. The circumstances being thus, it was impossible for them to produce any evidence in corroboration.
The whole case then hinged on the credibility of the State witnesses, especially Bourke. Counsel for the defence, Mr Charles Rollestone, concentrated his attention, therefore, on impeaching their evidence. He first made the point that if Bourke’s evidence was so unimpeachable as the prosecution alleged, then there was no necessity for the evidence of the informer, Spillane, and it was an outrage to justice that he should be a Crown witness instead of being in the dock on trial for his life. As an accomplice and approver, his evidence was worthless unless corroborated in the most unassailable way.
He then proceeded to a searching analysis of Bourke’s evidence. If he swore the truth about tipping off the Cormacks about the time of Ellis’s return, then he, too was a confessed accessory and accomplice and, therefore, his evidence was inadmissible. He clearly knew who the guilty parties were, but nevertheless he took no pains to warn his employer or to prevent the murder, but on the contrary he knowingly drove his master to his death. He also swore that he distinctly recognised the Cormacks at the murder spot, yet, at the inquest on Ellis he swore that he did not recognise anyone. Thus, on his own showing, he convicted himself of being a deliberate and unprincipled perjurer with utter disregard for the sanctity of an oath. Furthermore, he swore that he saw, through a dark hole in a high hedge, William Cormack with a gun in his and, Spillane behind him with a wattle, and behind him again, Daniel Cormack with a bayonet or rake-handle. Although filled with fright and terror, and rushing away from the scene with utmost speed, he was able to observe all this, a feat which would be very difficult in broad daylight. What then was to be thought of the evidence of a man who could not only identify through a dark hole in a thick hedge three men standing one behind the other, but could accurately describe the weapon each carried, and that at 11 p.m. on a night on which there was not even moonlight?
He elaborated on the illegal and unconstitutional practices employed to obtain evidence, the inconsistencies and unreliability of the State witnesses, and made various other pertinent submissions.
Attorney-General Whiteside spoke for the prosecution, followed by Judge Keogh’s summing up. From the outset, it was obviously prejudiced, partisan and biased against the accused. He spoke in an impassioned, vehement and aggressive tone of voice, more becoming a prosecutor than an impartial judge. After he had finished, the packed jury had little difficulty in returning a verdict of guilty, adding the customary recommendation to mercy. The Cormacks were sentenced to death on St Patrick’s Day, 1858.
Public opinion, however, was unequivocally pronounced against the verdict. Immediately, memorials and petitions for reprieve were set in motion and were signed by a vast number of clergy and people, Protestant as well as Catholic, including the M.P.s for the County, even Mr Bagwell of Marlfield, who represented the Protestant ascendancy. Petitions also came from the Bishop of Killaloe and Dr Leahy, Archbishop of Cashel, to whom, it is said, the true facts of the murder were revealed by the person who did the deed. All to no avail. Secret correspondence of the Chief Secretary reveals that neither Whitefield not Keogh would admit that a miscarriage of justice might have taken place, and the Administration did not feel disposed to deny the clamour of the ascendancy class for a victim.
THE EXECUTION AND AFTER
The brothers were hanged at 11.30 on a lovely sunny May morning. They had heard Mass, been confirmed and received the Last Sacraments, and they were both prepared and willing to die when eventually they climbed the scaffold which had been built for them outside the jail gate — now the entrance to the convent and secondary schools of the Sisters of Mercy.
Each of them was accompanied on to the scaffold by a priest and each kept on repeating the familiar aspiration: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul…” The gallows was surrounded on three sides by a strong cordon of police, but only a small, morbid-minded handful of civilians was present, because the clergy had requested the general public to remain away from the public execution. The shops were all closed in the town and their windows were shuttered in protest and sympathy.
From the scaffold both brothers again protested their innocence. “Boys,” Willie said, “we are innocent of the murder of Mr Ellis. We had neither hand, act nor part in it. I offer the sacrifice of my life in union with the sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross. Let ye all pray for us.” Danny’s last words were: “We are innocent of the murder of Mr Ellis. By thought, word or deed we had nothing to do with it. We forgive our enemies from the bottom of our hearts. We offer the sacrifice of our lives to God in atonement for our sins. Pray for us.”
Each then kissed the crucifix. Each held the other close to him in a prolonged embrace and bade him goodbye. Each continued to pray aloud as his face was covered and the noose was put in place around his neck. A few moments later the bolt shot quickly back and the souls of the brothers Cormack were with God. In the parish church at Abbey St, a Requiem High Mass was being offered for their souls as the brothers died.
And even as their dead bodies dangled there, Almighty God gave his verdict in the Cormack case. For all at once the bright sunny morning was almost as dark as night. Rain fell from heaven in a fearful deluge which soon flooded the streets. Lightning flashed through the thickening gloom. Thunder roared and crashed across the sky, and all day long the earth for several counties round Tipperary remained dark with a foreboding darkness not unlike that of Calvary on that first Good Friday. Almighty God had it would seem, acquitted the Cormack brothers and indicted their murderers.
The bodies of the Cormack were buried in quicklimed felons’ graves, in the grounds of the jail in Nenagh, and there their remains rested until Monday evening, May 9th 1910, when they were exhumed for translation to Loughmore churchyard.
News of the execution caused a wave of horror and indignation to sweep the country. The Government decided to send Bourke out of the country for his safety, so he was brought to Dublin under police guard and put on board a ship for Liverpool with £30 blood-money in his pocket. On the journey to Dublin he told the police guard that his evidence against the Cormacks was given under coercion and was all lies; that he gave it to get out of solitary confinement, and that he was terrorised and threatened with the gallows or being left rot in jail if he refused to give it. When this became public, Bourke was arrested in Liverpool on a charge of perjury and brought back to Dublin. There, a secret investigation was held, but where, or by whom, or what transpired was never revealed. Public meetings and the open-minded Irish and English Press demanded that what transpired should be made public, otherwise public confidence in the working of the law and the administration of Justice would be brought into contempt. Various members raised the matter in Parliament but without success. Bourke was hastily sent out of the country again, to America, it is said, after which all trace of him was lost.
As Spillane had laid information against Patrick Maher for conspiring against the life of Colonel Knox, he was kept in protective custody in various jails for a further period. But as he was now so discredited the charge against Maher was eventually dropped, and Spillane was secretly conveyed out of the country. Such a sequel did nothing to allay public feeling, rather it intensified the popular conviction that the fearful tragedy that took place in Nenagh was nothing less than a judicial murder.
RETURN TO LOUGHMORE
Father Kenyon of Templederry prophesied that the bones of the martyrs would one day be raised from felons’ graves and interred amongst their kindred.
As in so many other such cases of Irish history, the memory of the two executed men gathered strength with the years and ultimately became too strong for the ruling powers. In 1907 the move to transfer the remains was initiated in Thurles by Mr Michael Butler, Thurles, brother of Mr William Butler, Friar St, Thurles, and Mr James Butler, Dublin. They got in touch with Mr Andrew Callanan, Thurles, representative on North Tipperary County Council. Mr Callanan mentioned it to Nenagh man, Mr John Walsh, district surveyor in Thurles, who strongly supported the idea. It was then taken up by a solicitor, Mr James O’Brien, who handled the “delicate negotiations”. Dublin Castle “hummed and hawed” and apparently was nonplussed. At length, the officials announced that the matter was not, they believed, one for the Castle “as at present advised”. This was the green light as far as the exhumation committee was concerned but “as late as ten day before the funeral the Castle took alarm and wanted to know if there was to be a demonstration”. “No,” said Mr O’Brien, “there is to be a funeral,” and the Castle again lapsed into silence. The officials had no notion of the magnitude of the funeral.
The exhumation took place on Monday, May 9th 1910, in the presence of the following nearest of kin, and sponsors of the project: Messrs James Maher (Flood) and his son, Ned Maher, Tom McCormack, Leugh; Jas. Doyle, Pat Egan, P. McCormack, D.C. Loughmore; Andrew Callanan, M.C.C., Con Moloney and John Walsh, Thurles; John Walsh, Templemore, hon. sec. of the committee; Wm. McCurtain, T. Gleeson, M. Dunne, Frank K. Moloney, George Leary, all of Nenagh; Very Rev. Canon P. McMahon, P.P., V.G., Rev. J. Hogan, C.C. Nenagh; Very Rev. P. O’Meara, P.P. Puckane; V. Rev. M. Fanning, P.P. Ballywilliam. The remains were placed in two splendid and massively mounted oak coffins and taken to the mortuary chapel of the church of St. Mary of the Rosary, Nenagh. For the funeral on May 11th, “tens of thousands poured into Nenagh from early morning. Throughout North and Mid Tipperary, a complete holiday was observed, every town and village was shuttered, mourning banners, suitably inscribed, crossed the streets and roadways along the funeral route.”
Each of the hearses was drawn by four horses clothed in black and with white plumes. Representative of public bodies followed. And then the Nenagh Brass Band with crêped instruments and muffled drums, mourning coaches, the general public and about 2,000 cars, with brass bands, fife and drum bands and pipers’ bands at intervals. All wore the prescribed crêpe armlets with green ribbon. The bands numbered fully thirty altogether.
The route at Nenagh was thronged with spectators and the funeral, large as it was, continued to grow all the way to Loughmore. At every crossroads there were contingents waiting. Not only the fences but even the mountainsides were ranked with people. The procession was finally ten miles long and at Templemore it was joined and led by 500 cyclists. Carriages in which travelled Very Rev. Fr. Hackett, P.P. Loughmore; Very Rev. M. Banon, Adm., Thurles, and John Dillon, M.P., followed.
In the course of an oration at Loughmore Church following the arrival of remains, Father Hackett said; “The innocence of the McCormack Brothers of murder of Ellis is certain from the testimony of the man who perpetrated the deed. He always exonerated the brothers from participation, direct or indirect and there is, moreover, independent and conclusive evidence. He had the ‘agrarian’ motive. Agrarian extermination made Ireland the Rachel of nations. Within living memory, it mainly contributed to the reduction of the population of the united parishes of Loughmore and Castleiney from 8,000 to 1,500; Ellis was the most notorious and hated of the exterminating hands concerned. His murder put the ‘Garrison’ into a fierce and sanguinary mood. They offered immense sums of money for information. Terror for the same end was employed towards persons under arrest on suspicion. The result was a crop of perjurers. And the judge who presided [Keogh] was a political renegade and traitor.”
The interment took place in the specially prepared burial place in front of the church and at a public meeting in Loughmore, Mr Dillon addressed a huge throng.
In his speech Mr Dillon said it was “a barbarous incident of the law” that pursued a man beyond the grave. “Surely it would only be common humanity to surrender the poor remains to the relatives to be reverently buried, even if he had been guilty of the crime.” He went on to say “This great funeral procession is a mark of the death of Irish landlordism. The soul of our land has been stained indeed with blood. These fair plains around us have been the scenes of bloody struggles. And who would have blamed our people here if they had taken arms and, like the brave men of Ballycohey, made every door-sill a fortress to beat down the accursed power of landlordism which had desolated this parish?” The speaker referred to the way the people had suffered in the previous century under British rule and went on to deal with the way the law was administered, with special reference to the Cormack case.
“Young Burke afterwards repented and confessed to the police that the story was wholly an invention. The O’Donoghue, who was then member for this County, called attention to the matter in the House of Commons but the Government refused to produce Burke’s evidence and had him spirited out of the country. Mr Bagwell, the member for Clonmel, who, you’ll agree with me, was not a very strong Nationalist, also spoke in the debate and said he believed that in Ireland a man might be convicted of any crime.”
The throng dispersed but the funeral was something remembered for decades.
THEY HAUNTED THE JUDGE WHO HANGED THEM
Following the re-interment at Loughmore, Canon McMahon, Nenagh, revealed that a friend of his, a venerable Kerry parish priest, had written to him after reading a newspaper report of the massive demonstration in County Tipperary. The Kerry priest told a story about Judge Keogh. He said that 34 years previously an English merchant navy captain had been tried at Tralee before Judge Keogh for the murder of an apprentice. The letter stated that the Judge in his charge to the jury spent an hour “piling proof upon proof” that the accused was guilty. “To the last sentence he charged for murder, but suddenly, to the amazement of all, he said; ‘Gentlemen of the jury, after all, perhaps a verdict of manslaughter would meet the requirements of the case.’”
“Sir John Nelligan, later on Recorder of Cork, sat on the bench with Judge Keogh during the trial. Meeting Sir John next day, and knowing him well, I said, ‘Was that not an extraordinary change of front at the last moment on the part of the Judge yesterday?’” The letter said that Nelligan then told the priest writer that at dinner the previous night the Judge referred to his sudden change of front and said; “I became frightened at the last moment. I hanged two Tipperary men who were innocent. They have been haunting me ever since and at the and of my charge they came up before me.”
After the execution of the Cormacks, Keogh never came to Nenagh again. When he died in England he died by his own hand. He cut his throat.
INSCRIPTIONS ON THE TOMB OF THE CORMACKS AT LOUGHMORE
BY THE IRISH RACE, IN MEMORY OF THE BROTHERS
DANIEL AND WILLIAM CORMACK
WHO, FOR THE MURDER OF A LAND AGENT NAMED
ELLIS, WERE HANGED AT NENAGH, AFTER
SOLEMN PROTESTATION BY EACH ON THE
SCAFFOLD OF ABSOLUTE AND ENTIRE INNOCENCE
OF THAT CRIME, ON 11TH DAY OF MAY, 1858. THE
TRAGEDY OF THE BROTHERS OCCURRED
THROUGH FALSE TESTIMONY PROCURED BY
GOLD AND TERROR, THE ACTION IN THEIR
TRIAL OF JUDGE KEOGH, A MAN WHO
CONSIDERED PERSONALLY, POLITICALLY,
RELIGIOUSLY AND OFFICIALLY WAS ONE OF
THE MONSTERS OF MANKIND, AND THE
VERDICT OF A PREJUDICED, PARTISAN,
PACKED, PERJURED JURY. CLEAR PROOF
OF THE INNOCENCE OF THE BROTHERS [WAS]
AFFORDED BY ARCHBISHOP LEAHY
TO THE VICEROY OF THE DAY, BUT HE,
NEVERTHELESS, GRATIFIED THE APPETITE
OF A BIGOTED, EXTERMINATING AND
ASCENDANCY CASTE BY A JUDICIAL
MURDER OF THE KIND WHICH LIVES
BITTERLY AND PERPETUALLY IN A
“VISI SUNT OCULIS INSIPIENTIUM
MORI: ILLI AUTEM SUNT IN PACE.”
IN COMMEMORATION OF THE REMOVAL
OF THE REMAINS OF THE
CORMACK BROTHERS FROM THE JAILYARD
AT NENAGH TO THIS MAUSOLEUM ON MAY 11TH 1910.
IN THE MORNING A SOLEMN REQUIEM OFFICE
AND HIGH MASS WERE CELEBRATED IN THE
PARISH CHURCH, NENAGH, CANON MCMAHON
PRESIDING, AND AN IMMENSE NUMBER OF
KILLALOE PRIESTS BEING IN THE CHOIR.
THE FUNERAL CORTEGE, WHICH CONTAINED
MR JOHN DILLON, M.P., MR J. HACKETT, M.P.,
AND MANY OTHERS OF HIGH NAME AND
INSPIRING EXAMPLE, WAS BY MAGNITUDE,
REPRESENTATIVENESS AND OBSERVANCE
UNPRECEDENTED IN IRELAND.
AT LOUGHMORE, THE PASTOR PREACHED
A FUNERAL ORATION AND, ASSISTED BY
PRIESTS FROM IRELAND, ENGLAND
AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA, OFFICIATED AT
THE PLACING OF THE REMAINS HERE, TO
REST IN PEACE AND HONOUR UNTIL
THE DAY OF THEIR VINDICATION BY
JESUS CHRIST BEFORE THE WHOLE
HUMAN RACE IN THE
VALLEY OF JOSOPHAT.