MURDER OF A LADY
An attack on Mr. William Barlow SMYTHE, D. L., of Barbaville House, county Westmeath, on Monday, had a sad result, one of the ladies who accompanied that gentleman from church falling victim to an assassins bullet.
Until recently in Ireland the presence of a lady with a gentleman, no matter how obnoxious he might be, secured him from the danger of being shot or assaulted, because the plotters of his death would not like to incur the risk of hurting an innocent woman: but the "Moonlight Gang" are callous to any such feeling as respect for age or sex.
Farmer MORONEY was shot when his wife and children were clinging to him.
Sub Inspector DOHERTY was fired at when a lady was beside him on the car, and she was wounded.
A week ago a poor woman, who sought to appease the wrath of the disguised ruffians come to shoot her husband, was herself shot in the legs.
In another part of the country last week a farmer and his wife were subjected by their cruel enemies to wounds which have endangered their lives.
Police patrol throughout the night have caused the murderers to now plan their attacks in open daylight, and they count on either the terror or the sympathy of the people in the district for refusing to come forward in evidence against them.
Mr. Barlow SMYTHE is an extensive landlord in the county of Westmeath, and he had the reputation of being a good landlord. But the "Vigilance Committee" in his district resolved that he deserved death at their hands, and lots were drawn amongst the members for the executioners. On Monday Mr. SYMTHE, Mrs. Henry J. SMYTHE, his sister-in-law, and Lady Henrietta MONCK, were driving home in a carriage from divine service about half past two o'clock, and had entered Barbaville demesue, when some shots were fired. Whether the first volley took effect is not certain, but so determined were the assissins to carry out their fiendish design of murdering Mr. SMYTHE, that several shots were fired, and one of them with fatal effect, in the case of Mrs. Henry J. SMYTHE, who was shot dead on the spot, her brains being scattered through the carriage. Both Lady Henrietta MONCK and Mr. W. Barlow SMYTHE escaped. The Brabaville demesue is beautifully timbered, and shrubs afford favourable ambuscades for assassins.
There is no doubt that the motive for the murder is agrarian, Mr. Barlow SMYTHE having received several threatening letters. The murdered lady resided in Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, and only on Saturday went down for a few days visit to Barbaville, which is not far from Mullingar.
Three arrests have been made. The parties apprehended are Richard RIGGS, farmer, his wife and son. RIGGS was formerly a tenant of Mr. SMYTHE's, but was recently evicted for non-payment of rent. Further arrests are expected.