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From: "Ted Meehan" <>
Subject: Edward Meehan, companion of Fr. Nicholas Sheehy
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 19:56:17 -0500

A chairde,

I am throwing out a request in the hope that someone might be able to offer some advice or direction, recognizing that chances are slim of finding any clues.

Many Tipperary researchers may be aware of Father Nicholas Sheehy, who was executed on March 15, 1766 on the false charge of murder. Because of his stature and prestiege and his being a member of the Catholic Clergy, his role in history is elevated among other martyrs. Yet, my own direct ancestor - Ned Meehan - was executed alongside Father Sheehy, on the identical charges. This man left a widow and six young children. On the evening before these two martyrs were executed, Ned was visited by his persecutors and promised his freedom and his life in exchange for his testimony against Fr. Sheehy, who was the real target of their wrath. Ned refused to give false evidence against an innocent man, and demanded they leave. The next day, both men were publicly hung, but cut down before they had died. Then, as they sought to gasp for air, their abdomens were cut open and their internal organs removed before their horrified eyes - and thrown into a fire. Next they were beheaded, a!
nd their limbs were pulled off of their corpses. Their heads were mounted on pikes and remained above the courthouse for another ten years. What horror must have been visited upon their loved ones who witnessed their final ordeal!

While I have found a number of histories of their trial, and their executions, I have very little on Ned himself, other than the name of his wife and the fact that he left 6 children (of whom I know the name of only two - a younger Edmund, and William Rourke). My general information leads me to believe that Ned was a Clogheen farmer, who lived on a farm called "Kilcoran". It would be enlightening to me to learn why Ned drew the attention of his persecutors, along with Father Sheehy.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was an effort at having these two men formally Beatified, and records were compiled. However, these records were destroyed in the fire in the General Records Office in 1920. I have found histories in a few other areas including, Connyngham's "Lives of Irish Saints"; Madden's "United Irishmen"; and Burke's "History of Clonmel". Most recent treatments fail to include Ned Meehan as they discuss Father Sheehy.

Obviously, other than these few snippets, I would be anxious to learn more of him. Suggestions are welcomed.

Ted Meehan

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