Farmer George Graham, of Ballymachrennan, County Down, rued the day when he hired John Logue, 21. The young farm labourer was an inveterate thief and when he made off with a sheep, farmer Graham turned him in to the police.

Logue was sentenced to four years for the theft, and spent his time in prison planning his revenge. On his release he went to the farm and, knocking loudly, shouted that the pigs were on the road. Graham got up with his son Thomas, 10, to investigate, and outside Logue opened fire. A bullet struck Thomas, who died two hours later.

Graham failed to recognise the gunman in the darkness, but next day Logue boasted about the incident in a pub, declaring that he shot the boy in revenge for Graham having given evidence against him in the sheep-stealing incident. He was hanged on Thursday, April 19th, 1866, at the front of Downpatrick Prison, in what was to be the last public execution in Ireland. Asked if he wished to confess before he died, he replied: “I have no connection with the murder.”