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There are four sections in the History stack.

(1)Passage Tombs i.e. Seefin

(2)Monastic Site: St Santan's Monastry.

(3)The Hanging of the Kearneys.

(4)The Building of the Military Road




The Hanging of the Kearneys.

In 1816 there was a family called the Kearneys living in Friarstown near Bohernabreena. There were two sons, Joe and Billy, as well as their father and mother. They owned the local pub. Their landlord was Ponsonby Shaw.He was very wealthy. His agent was called John Kinlan. Kinlan was hated by everyone.The Kearneys often bragged that if they ever had the chance they would kill Kinlan. One night Kinlan went missing. He was presumed dead. An investigation took place. A hatchet was found near the Kearneys house with blood and hair that resembled Kinlan's. Because of the Kearney's bragging they were the prime suspects. The Kearneys were brought to Kilmainham Gaol. A short and inadequate investigation took place. With little evidence the Kearneys were found guilty and sentenced to execution. The authorities wanted to have a public hanging to show the people that if anyone did anything like that again they would suffer the same fate. The fact that members of the Kearney family were involved in the rebellion of 1798 and gave refuge to Robert Emmet after his Rising in 1803 did not help their case. Hundreds of people turned up to witness the executions of the father and his two sons. After the hanging they were brought to Kilmainham Gaol and buried in quicklime so that the bodies would disintegrate quickly. They didn't have a monument or anything to show where they were buried. In 1933 some builders were digging in a sandpit in Tallaght. They found the remains a body.The gardai thought that it might be John Kinlan's body because it had blows to the head but there was no definite identification.The killing of John Kinlan is a mystery. Will we ever find out if the Kearneys killed him? Who knows!

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