Rev. Nicholas Sheehy

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Sheehy, Nicholas, Rev., a Catholic clergyman, executed at Clonmel in 1766, in consequence of his opposition to the Government. He was born at Fethard, in the County of Tipperary, in 1728, was educated in France, and for many years officiated as parish priest at Clogheen. He openly denounced the collection of Church rates, and made no secret of his sympathy with the people in their impoverished and oppressed condition. Early in 1764 he was arrested for alleged complicity in Whiteboy offences, was brought up to Dublin, released on bail, tried, and acquitted; but was immediately re-arrested on a charge of being concerned in the murder of John Bridges, an informer. Conscious of his innocence, he neglected measures for his defence; and although there was no satisfactory evidence to inculpate him, and the body of the alleged murdered man was never "discovered, he was convicted, and hanged, drawn, and quartered, at Clonmel, on 15th March 1766. His head remained spiked over the porch of the old jail for twenty years. There can be little doubt that he fell a victim to the party animosity of the time. Mr. Froude expresses the belief that Sheehy was guilty of the charges brought against him, and mentions his having been engaged in a plot in the interest of the Pretender; but admits that his trial was informal.

Sources

141. Froude, James A.: The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century. 3 vols. London, 1872-'4.

331. United Irishmen, their Lives and Times: Robert R. Madden, M.D. 4 vols. London, 1858-'60.

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