A review copy was provided by The Collins Press and Killeen PR in return for an honest review
It's amazing. You can pass by something many times in your life, thinking you know everything there is to know when in reality, you know nothing. If you mentioned "Mountjoy" to someone they'd associated the name with the jail but not much else. The fact that 29 people were hanged there came as a complete surprise to me.
As surprising as that was, the following information made me do a double take:
"Thomas Delaney was found guilty of the murder of seventy-four-year-old Patrick Horan in Banagher, count Offaly"
I'm sorry.....what!! Someone was murdered...murdered, in my small, back end of nowhere country town! Not only that but the victim has the same last name as me! I read the story about 5 times before I could actually believe what I was seeing. This led me to a Google search which was disappointingly unrewarding. Unfortunatly a lot of the older members of my family have passed away so my next step will be the library. I feel that thanks to this book I've discovered a whole side of my town and family that I never knew before.
As for the rest of the book, it was never going to be an easy read. Its incredibly harrowing and it took me a long time to get through it. In many of the cases it seemed that the most important thing was that someone was punished, regardless of whether the right person was punished. In some cases there was little or no evidence that led the accused to the gallows.
These people, today remain buried in the Grounds of Mountjoy in unmarked graves. Hopefully in the future the bodies can be excavated and moved to a proper burial site.
When someone commits an atrocious crime the phrase "They should be hanged" often comes quick to the tongue of some. This book brings home the real meaning of this phrase. It's incredible that death penalty was only officially abolished in 1990. As human beings we should never wish or want it to return.
Overall this was a fascinating look at an area of history I never even knew existed.