School: Ovens (C.) (roll number 5985)

Location:
Ovens, Co. Cork
Teacher:
Maud Mc Guire

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The Body Snatchers

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0345, Page 383

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About the year 1895 a regiment of soldiers of "The tenth Hussars" were stationed in Ballincollig. One evening a party of them visited Inniscarra graveyard. Seeing a very well kept vault they guessed that somebody of importance was interred there.
They opened the vault & discovered the coffin of a lady. They wrenched the coffin open. They found a quantity of valuable jewellery upon the corpse. They cut off a finger to obtain a valuable ring. They did not trouble to re-inter the coffin or the remains. They placed the former against an adjoining wall & fled from the churchyard.
A few days later they were traced & punished . Some got terms of imprisonment, varying from five to seven years.The majority of the officers left the regiment, unable to stand local ridicule, for from that day onward's they were nicknamed the Bodysnatchers. The entire regiment was penalised. For years after they were compelled to do extra duty for an hour each evening.

Informant
Patrick O' Connell
Gender
male
Age
53
Occupation
mechanic
Address
Lisheens, Co. Cork
Language
English