On APRIL 17th, 1941, Patrick Kelly put on his boots just as he did every day of the week. But this day was different. His boots were to hang him.

A 31-year-old labourer, he lived at Riverstown, County Sligo, and later that day he murdered a woman he had never met before although she lived in the nearby village of Rossmore.

She was Mary Brehony, a 39-year-old spinster. Kelly sexually assaulted her, strangled her, and then dragged her across a field and threw her into a river. When police examined the scene they found distinctive heel impressions. These matched Kelly’s boots, and together with blood on his clothes they were enough to convict him.

Sentenced to death on October 19th, he was hanged by Tom Pierrepoint at Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison on December 18th, 1941.