So far as the outside public are concerned nothing has come to light respecting the murder of Sub-Constable Browne to which reference was made last week. A private inquiry is being held daily before Messrs Smith and Blake, Special R.M's, and a number of witnesses are being examined with what effect is not known.
A number of additional arrests have also been made, and in addition to the four men already named the following are now in custody, having been remanded in Tullamore gaol by Mr. McSheehy R.M.: Michael Kenny, Park; Thomas Garahy, Killowneybeg; Richard McGrane, Cloghan; and John Coughlan, Cloghan. The term for which the first four prisoners were remanded have expired, they were again re-committed on Tuesday, for a further period of eight days on the application of Head Constable Bodley. Constable McCormack appears to be assisting in the detective work, and Constable Madden, Frankford, who also knows the country and the people, is with them in furthering the objects of the inquiry.
King's County Chronicle (Birr, King's County (County Offaly), Ireland), May 24, 1882.
Since the last lines regarding the murder of Police-constable Brown appeared in this column, little, practically nothing, has been attained towards the solution of the mystery. The police have, of course, done everything that intelligence could suggest, but, as we observed in our report last week, the utter absence of any evidence of identification renders their task as almost insurmountable one.
Sub-Inspector Seddall, from the County Longford, and an extra force of police, have been detained to assist the local staff, and their inquiries are being directed in every possible quarter- even the diagram of the scene of the murder which was published in the KING'S COUNTY CHRONICLE has been pressed into the service, but so far with doubtful success. All the men taken on suspicion, immediately after the murder have been discharged, and since then two others have been arrested. The first was John Dooly of Broughal, near Frankford, who was taken into custody by Constable McCormack at Athlone. The authorities are, of course, very reticent concerning any fresh discovery, but it is said that Dooly was seen in Parsonstown on the day of the murder - no very remarkable circumstance in itself, that on that occasion he wore black whiskers, his height and general appearance being thought to correspond generally with description given by the deceased; and lastly, that he was believed to evading capture when found in Athlone. To all these allegations Dooly, it is said has satisfactory answers; and as to the suggestion that he was flying from justice, he was merely on his way to the seaside, where Dr Browne, of Frankford, had previously advised him to go. Be all this as it may, Dooly remains in custody, and the police darkly hint that they have got hold of an important clue.
The next day, and the only other arrest, took place shortly after midnight on Sunday, when Mr Fulton, S.I, with a police party, took into custody Thos Cleary, son of the widow Cleary, also from Broughall. What the suspicions are in his case have not transpired, but the fact that both men are residents in the same townland, is suggestive of some strong motive on part of the authorities Cleary, who is in a well-to-do position, also remains in custody on remand.
Public interest in this shocking murder may be said now to be completely died out, whether owing to the fearful crimes which have since taken place in other districts, or to the circumstance that we are becoming inured to outrage, is not clear. The fact that a man was shot dead in open daylight on our streets, and that the assassin escaped with audacious impunity, would probably at another time have afforded an exciting topic for months, but the manner in which it has dropped out of man's minds now is fairly indicative of the demoralised state of public feeling in Ireland. In connection with this branch of the subject a little incident is related which shows how the matter came home different minds. Shortly after the commission of the crime on Saturday evening week, to old women were eagerly discussing the subject, the informant having related all the facts as she then knew them, her hearer then piously ejaculated - "Oh, murder, and he a Roman Catholic!"
On Wednesday morning, an investigation was held by Mr. McSheehy, R.M., when acting under the powers conferred on him by the 16th sec of the "Prevention of Crimes Act." A number of witnesses were compulsorily summoned, to give evidence . The inquiry was in private and the results have not transpired, but they are believed to have an important bearing on the case.
King's County Chronicle (Birr, King's County (County Offaly), Ireland), August 24, 1882.
While not mentioned by name in the articles, Laurence Slevin was one of the four men recommitted to jail.