In September 1787, Michael Dennessy, also known as Michael Donoghoe a weaver from Limerick city was found murdered.

For the next few months the main suspect remained at large. Strangely on January 19, 1788 a clerk by the name of Thomas Hogan walked into the city gaol where he penned the following letter to the press.  

“Whereas I, Thomas Hogan, of the City of Limerick, Writing Clerk, have been informed, that I am charged with being concerned in a Murder, alleged to have been committed in the Month of September last, on the Body of Michael Dennessy, otherwise Donoghoe, late of the said City, Weaver, deceased. Now I the said Thomas Hogan, do hereby give Notice to all Persons concerned in carrying on a Prosecution for said Murder, and to the Relations and Friends of the said deceased, and to all others whatsoever, that I intend to take my Trial for said Murder, at the next general Assizes and general Gaol Delivery, to be held in and for the said City, and have for that Purpose surrendered myself to the Sheriffs of the County of the said City, and am now in actual Custody in the Gaol of the said City. Dated this 19th Day of January, 1788.”

Limerick Chronicle, February 4, 1788

It seems from the letter that Thomas Hogan had full intention of clearing his name but it is not known if his plea was successful in the courts.

Limerick gaol with st mary's cathedral behind
The old Gaol on the banks of the Shannon River, where Thomas Hogan penned his letter to the press.