Farmer Dermot Smyth, 35, of The Rushes, Wolfhill, County Laois, crept up on a car parked three miles from his farm and calmly shot dead the driver, Cornelius Dennehy, a butter buyer who was well known among local farmers. The motive for the killing, it was later established, was robbery.

Smyth was tried for the murder at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court on NOVEMBER 29th, 1938. A plea of insanity failed to save him, and he was hanged on January 7th, 1939.