Smuggling between Brayhead and Kilcoole

Coastline looking South from Greystones
National Library of Ireland - Eason & Son. The Coast, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. 1900.

An incidence of smuggling at Kilcoole was recorded in 1822, where at about 12 o’clock on a Saturday night a light was spotted on the beach at Kilcoole. The light was coming from smugglers landing their cargo on the beach at Kilcoole. When the smugglers who realised that they had been spotted immediately put out to sea and disappeared and only part of their cargo was left on the beach.

The water guard then showed up and seized several bales that were on the beach. These guards were on landing attached by 300 local men, though they were quickly repulsed and nine prisoners were taken and brought into the city of Dublin. These prisoners were hence sent to County Wicklow under escort of Lancers to be tried in the Court there.

The men arrested were recorded as John M’Cabe, James Booth, Thomas Gregory, John Connell, Patrick Grace, Michael Stanley, Anth Pluck, John Castles and Mathew Knackler.

A later article on the trial recorded nine men were convicted for the smuggling tobacco at the Grey stones near Kilcool. The men were sentenced to transportation for seven years.

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