Catherine Kelly (1867-1900)

Catherine Kelly was a widow living with her father and brother, Cornelius Driscoll in Cairns Street. She relied on the parish for support and for her children The money was often used to spend on drink. On 16th October 1900 she returned home after collecting her monies for the week and had been drinking Her 15 year old daughter Margaret, had put her to bed. Earlier in the day she had argued with her brother, threatening to hit him with a hammer, and continued the argument again when she had awoken. She threatened to throw him out of the house. Another sister Julia Driscoll saw Cornelius push Catherine and being drunk herself when she went to fetch a policeman she was told to go home.

Margaret Kelly, the daughter, returned later in the day to find Cornelius standing over Catherine who was shouting "Don't kill me". Cornelius then hit Catherine with the poker and kicked her. Catherine died at the Royal Infirmary with a fractured skull and inflammation of the brain, due to dirt getting into the wound.

Cornelius was charged with murder, but he insisted that Catherine had hit him first. Margaret gave evidence that it was only a soft blow with the poker and when he kicked her, he was wearing soft boots. The defence pleaded that it was a tragic accident and that there was provocation and no intent to kill. The Jury found Cornelius guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment.