1858, Arrests of Men in Bantry and Skibbereen Allegedly Involved in Phoenix Society (Precourser to Fenians), 3 Coaches take the Skibbereen prisoners to Cork Jail. Immense Crowds Assemble and Loudly Cheered The Prisoner.
The newspapers of March 1859 have very detailed accounts of the evidence presented:
George Fitzmaurice (1807-1871), Castleforward, Co. Donegal, Resident Magistrate, In 1859 he was part of a bench sitting in Derry where 18 Apprentice Boys were charged with hoisting flags and firing cannon. The bench refused to convict. He is sent by Dublin Castle to Skibbeeen to ‘root out’ the Phoenix Society and those associated with it. He worked with an informer Dan O’Sullivan Goula process server in Skibbereen from Kenmare. The eventual trail of those he and O’Sullivan assembled information on was revealed in a very detailed trial and conviction. It is very rare to have an Irish Magistrate behave in this fashion more in the mode of French Investigating Magistrate. Probate 1871 to his widow Isabella, £800.