The younger members of the Stackpole family were brimming with jealous rage as one of their number, James, approached his 21st birthday. This would be the day when, under the terms of a dead relative’s will, he would come into an allowance of £65 a year, a sum that would make him the richest of them all.

This was altogether too much for his sister Honorah, his two cousins Richard and Bridget Stackpole – who were also man and wife – and his uncle Thomas. While James was asleep at his home in Swallow Bridge, County Clare, the murderous quartet entered his bedroom, smashed his head to pieces and mutilated his body. The two women then carried his remains for a mile and a half and buried them on a beach.

Next day a young child in the family became upset and tearfully told the police what had happened. Thomas Stackpole fled, and the other three were tried and convicted of murder. Richard and Bridget were hanged outside Ennis Prison on Friday, April 29th, 1853, and Honorah was hanged there 75 minutes later, making her the last woman to be publicly executed in Ireland.

Thomas Stackpole was caught, but was too ill to be tried with the other three. He died shortly after the triple execution while still in custody.