Mary McShane, 18, was so annoyed with Steven McKeown’s persistent wooing, coupled with dark threats if she did not respond to him, that she took out a summons against him. As a result McKeown, 30, was bound over to keep the peace and ordered to stay away from her.

Weeks later he followed her into a field at Longfield, near Forkhill, County Armagh, and beat her to death with a large stone. He was hanged on Monday, August 21st, 1876, in Armagh Prison.

This was the second murder trial involving McKeown. A year previously he had been charged with killing Mary McShane’s father, but was acquitted.