Hope and Expectation of Good News on Poff and Barrett Pardons

Members of Castleisland District Heritage pictured in 2021 at the launch of the journal ‘Poff and Barrett: A Miscarriage of Justice’ to co-incide with the BBC 1 screening of the revisited Poff and Barrett case at that time. ©Photograph: John Reidy 5-7-2021

Recent discussions with Brendan Griffin TD, regarding the application by Castleisland District Heritage for the Posthumous Presidential Pardons of Sylvester Poff and James Barrett have led to hopes of a favourable outcome in the near future.

Castleisland District Heritage is very grateful to Mr. Griffin who has been monitoring the progress of the application and has kept the group up to date in this respect.

Poff and Barrett were hanged side by side in Tralee Prison in January 1883 in an act of judicial murder.

“There was not a shred of evidence to suggest they were guilty of the murder of Thomas Browne, and the evidence in favour of their innocence remains overwhelming,” said group researcher and manager, Janet Murphy.

“This case has been top priority since Castleisland District Heritage applied for the pardon of John Twiss, which was granted in December 2021.

“The application was held over pending the outcome of the Twiss case, at which time application for the pardon of Poff and Barrett was made.

“Since then we have been anxiously awaiting a positive result especially for the many descendants of Sylvester Poff and James Barrett who have had to suffer years of anguish, knowing that their ancestors were the victims of horrible judicial murders.

“Hopefully we can all celebrate a momentous achievement when the stigma of murder will be erased from their records. Two innocent men hanged without a shred of evidence against them,” Ms. Murphy concluded.

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