27 Jun: Meet The Black Donnelleys

The deadly fight between Patrick Farrell and James Donnelly on 27th June 1857 kickstarted one of the longest-lasting and most violent feuds in Canadian history.

The property the Donnellys had been squatting on had been previously leased by Farrell. A judge had ruled that the lot be split 50/50, but, at a barn raising bee, Donnelly chucked a handspike at Farrell, who died two days later. Decades later, the Donnelly family’s homestead was attacked by a vigilante mob, leaving five of their family dead.

In this episode Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask why nobody was convicted of the murders, despite two trials and a reliable eyewitness; reveal why the Donnelleys became known locally as the ‘black’ Donnelleys, a nickname which persists to this day; and unearth, amongst one of their number, a surprising predilection for poetry…

Further Reading:

• ‘History | Lucan Museum’ (donnellymuseum.com): https://www.donnellymuseum.com/history

• ‘Black Donnellys – The Outrageous Tale of Canada’s Deadliest Feud, By Nate Hendley’ (Formac Publishing Company Limited, 2018): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Black_Donnellys/sK5jDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

• ‘The Doomed Donnellys of Ontario’ (TVO Today, 2020):

#Canada #Irish #Crime #1800s