“D’you know something? I’m the man who killed Patrick Flahive.” So declared Bartholomew Sullivan, 39, as he sat crouched over the bar at his local pub in the County Kerry village of Glenlea. Other drinkers might have shrugged that off with an embarrassed laugh. But the man Sullivan was talking to in his cups was an off-duty policeman.

Patrick Flahive, 23, died in a dispute over land seized in lieu of a debt. The evicted farmer claimed he was at least entitled to harvest the crops on the land; the new owners said no. When Flahive was hired by the new owners to cut the crop, Sullivan, encouraged by the evicted farmer, shot him dead.

Five years went by before Sullivan, haunted by his crime, blurted out his confession in the pub. He was immediately arrested and tried at Munster Assizes, where it was claimed in his defence that he only “lured” Flahive to his death and that another man, as well as the evicted farmer, was also involved. The law exacted its full toll, however, and he was hanged on Monday, February 2nd, 1891, in what was to become the last execution at Tralee Prison.