PHOTO GALLERY: Kildare's Silken Thomas Players re-enact grisly murder trial

Back in time

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

As part of the recent Kildare Halloween Festival, the Silken Thomas Players offered a spine-tingling opportunity to transport the audience back to 1833 for the trial of Patrick Kelly, for his role in the murder of Christopher Murphy in Kildare.

The audience played the role of jury, while the judge and executioner were on hand to decide the fate of Mr Kelly.

They heard chilling evidence of secret societies - Blackfeet and Whitefeet - sworn to wade knee deep in blood, savage beatings, ghostly apparitions and prisoners left to rot in the macabre gaol below the courthouse.

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Based on true events, retold by Mario Corrigan and dramatised by Mark Stafford, the proceedings were followed by a review of the prisoners interred deep in the court house gaol and the gallows in the execution yard.

This was a rare opportunity to relive one of Kildare Towns most infamous trials in a real life atmosphere.

"Mario Corrigan has unearthed a real gem in the trial of Patrick Kelly a true miscarriage of justice where the ghostly spirits of the dead men return seeking justice and exacting vengeance" said Silken Thomas Players Chairman Mark Stafford.

Speaking prior to the re-enactment he said; "We are delighted to be able to offer a glimpse of it, it is a rich vein of material that hopefully will be explored more in the future. We are delighted to be working with Kildare Chamber and taking part in this unique Town Festival. We are grateful to Kildare County Council for allowing access all areas to the Courthouse and cells".