Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/56

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


CHAPTER II.


Trial by Court-martial—A Prisoner's Rights before a British Military Tribunal—The Stories of Two Informers—Found Guilty and Sentenced to Death—Commutation of Sentence—Mountjoy Prison—How O'Reilly repaid a Traitor.


ON Wednesday, June 27, 1866, the eve of his twenty-second birthday, his trial by court-martial began in the mess-room of the Eighty-fifth Regiment at Royal Barracks. The charge was, "Having at Dublin, in January, 1866, come to the knowledge of an intended mutiny in Her Majesty's Forces in Ireland, and not giving information of said intended mutiny to his commanding officer."

His fellow prisoners were Color-Sergeant Charles McCarthy, Privates Patrick Keating, Michael Harrington, Thomas Darragh, and Capt. James Murphy, the last named being the American soldier who was charged with having deserted from the British camp at Aldershot at a time when, as he was happily able to prove, he was serving his country in Western Virginia.

The court-martial was constituted as follows: President, Colonel Sawyer, Sixth Dragoon Guards. Prosecutor, Captain Whelan, Eighth Regiment, assisted by Mr. Landy, Q. C. The Judge Advocate was advised by Mr. Johnson. The prisoner was defended by Mr. O'Loughlen, advised by Mr. John Lawless, solicitor.

The other officers of the court were: Lieut.-Col. Maunsell, Major Drew, and Capt. Gladstone, Seventy-fifth Foot; Capt. Wallace and Lieut. Caryvell, Ninety-second Gordon Highlanders; Capt. Skinner, Military Train; Capt. Kingston and Lieut. Garnett, Fifth Dragoons; Capt. Barthorp, Tenth Hussars; Capt. Telford and Lieut. Meade, Sixtieth Rifles; Capt. Taylor, Eighty-eighth Foot; Capt. Fox and Ensign Parkinson, Sixty-first Foot.