Unmarried gentleman landowner Arthur O’Donnell had no family who lived with him and only one female servant at his home in County Clare. The servant, Bridget Keogh, 32, was the local beauty in her village of Derrynalicka, and it wasn’t long before her boss carried her off to bed with him.

After they had been lovers for several months, O’Donnell suggested that he would like to bring a second mistress into the house.

Bridget was furious at the idea. That night she told her two brothers, Patrick and John Howe, that O’Donnell kept a large amount of cash and valuables in his house, and suggested a way they could kill him and make off with his goods.

On April 10th, 1850, the brothers accordingly broke into the house and killed O’Donnell with an axe. They were soon arrested, but, having caught a fever, John Howe was too ill to stand trial. Patrick and his sister Bridget were convicted at the county assizes on July 4th, and hanged side by side on Saturday, July 27th, 1850, outside Ennis Prison. A contemporary report described the two condemned prisoners as “persons of unusual intelligence.”