School: Castlecoote (roll number 6344)

Castlecoote, Co. Roscommon
Máire, Bean Uí Ghabhláin

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Townsell the Spy

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0263, Page 154

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'Townsell' the Spy
During the Fenian movement there were many men in this Parish having Fenian sympathies.
About 100 years ago a man named Townsend lived in Co. Liachtar. He was known locally as 'Townsell'. This man was a strange and came from the North of Ireland. Very soon he became friendly with the neighbours and made himself their leader found out all their secrets and passed them on to Headquarters Government authorities.
The men began to suspect that there was a 'leakage' some place. They were to have a great meeting down n=ear the lake. Word went round that each sworn man was to bring his gun loaded and shoot 'Townsell' so that it could not be left on any particular man.
About thirty men surrounded 'Townsell' and at a signal from the leader, fired- They were so close together that the shot wounded some of them as well as killing the 'Spy'. They went to hospital in Roscommon and the secret was found out. Some were flogged but on account of all being implicated in the shooting mo one was ever hanged. The men returned home lived quietly on their little farms and kept their secrets.