The Armagh Rail Disaster of 1889

The Armagh Rail Disaster of 1889

On the morning of 12th June 1889 a train carry passengers on a Sunday School excursion to Warrenpoint was involved in the biggest rail disaster Ireland had ever known, resulting in the deaths of 80 people and the injury of 170 more.

The coming of the railways had made excursions to the seaside an affordable treat for many otherwise underprivileged families and the one that set off on that fateful Wednesday morning organised by the Methodist Sunday School of Armagh was one of many planned that summer. The Sunday School committee had planed to sell 800 tickets and this information was given to the GNR Authorities at Dundalk who were to provide a suitable engine, rolling stock and crew from their spare pool for the occasion. However, on the morning of the outing, John Foster, the station master at Armagh was told that instead of the expected 800 passengers there would now be closer to 940 passengers and so two more coaches were added to the train. And so as the band of the Royal Irish Fusiliers led the procession from the Sunday School to the station with parents, preachers and laughing children decked out in their Sunday best, no one could have imagine the impending disaster that was to follow. At Armagh station 1200 people crammed into the 15 carriages, 400 more passengers than expected and despite concerns as to whether engine No.86 could cope with so many passengers they departed twenty minutes late at 10.20am.

The ill fated Engine 86Neither the driver, Thomas McGrath, nor the staff at Dundalk were very familiar with the line or the extent of the incline out of Armagh to Dobbin's Bridge. They were also ignorant of the fact that engine 86 would not have the power to pull fifteen full coaches to the top of the steep incline, a gradient of 1 in 82 (1.22%) and then 1 in 75 (1.33%). At first things went well and McGrath kept the engine at full throttle, conditions were good and it was set to be a warm fine day. Then as they approached a point called Derry's Crossing on a steep hill three miles outside of Armagh and about 750 yards from the summit the speed began to drop and finally the exhausted engine came to a complete halt just 200 yards from the summit at Dobbin's Bridge at a place called Killuney Townland. At this point there is some confusion as to who took charge of the situation, some reports say it was McGrath the driver and others that it was James Elliot the Chief Clerk from Dundalk, who decided to divide the train in two, take the leading half to Hamiltonsbawn Station which was convenient, and come back for the other half. In his evidence to the commission set up to investigate the disaster, Thomas McGrath states that "Mr. Elliott was the first person to suggest dividing the train. I did not object, thinking the rear brake-van would hold the rear portion." The more sensible course of action would have been to wait for the lightly loaded scheduled 10.35 passenger train from Armagh to assist them to the summit from the rear, but this was not considered. They managed to uncouple the train with difficulty due to the strain imposed by the incline. The train was screw coupled; each carriage was first coupled by a loose chain and hook coupling to the next; the slack on this was then taken up by a turnbuckle screw arrangement, until the buffers of the two carriages were touching. To uncouple, there needed to be some slack in the coupling; as the train had stopped all the couplings were under tension. Once the vacuum brake connection to the rear portion was broken, any attempt to introduce slack into the coupling between the two portions would be defeated by the rear portion settling back to rest its weight upon the rear van brakes. To assist uncoupling the front van guard therefore scotched one of the wheels of the sixth vehicle, that is, the front vehicle of the rear portion being detached. Loosening the turnbuckle thus transferred the weight of the rear portion to the scotch on the sixth vehicle, rather than to the rear van brakes. The couplings to the rear of the sixth vehicle remained under tension, and the slack introduced remained in the coupling between the fifth and sixth vehicles, which could be unhooked. To prevent the train from rolling back down the incline the guard in the rear brake van was told to apply his brake, and was also told to place stones under the wheels of the van. As the driver set off with the front portion of the train, the engine rolled back slightly before gathering forward momentum. This was enough to crush the few stones placed under the rear van's wheels and so the last ten carriages slowly started to slip backwards before picking up speed and hurtling down the incline.

Meanwhile back at Armagh station the 10.35 was just setting off. The line was operated on the time interval system (rather than block working) so that there was no means at Armagh of knowing that the line was not clear. The required 20 minute interval before letting a fast train follow a slow one having elapsed, the following scheduled passenger train had left Armagh. Patrick Murphy the driver had already seen the excursion train leave earlier and had remarked that his own powerful engine would have no trouble in taking the fifteen carriages over the bank. As they approached the bank they were appalled to see the ten carriages careering backwards towards them at 20-30 mph with people jumping off the running boards and children being thrown from the windows of the locked carriages. Those on board couldn't escape, because it was common practice to lock carriage doors on passenger trains carrying children. Many of the children who survived the Armagh disaster had been thrown from the windows. Murphy and his crew tried everything they could to reduce the speed of their own engine, but only managed to succeed in reducing it to 5 mph. By now the runaway train was travelling at 40 mph and the following train could not stop its own forward movement towards the final collision. The final three carriages and occupants were completely destroyed. It was a scene of total carnage with the dead and injured flung about in all directions.

Tha Armagh Rail Disaster 1889Thomas McGrath, driver ; 13 years' service, two, years driver, six years fireman ; all the time in the Great Northern Company's service, giving evidence to the enquiry said: "I commenced work on the 12th June at, 5.30 a.m., with engine No. 86, a six-wheeled engine, with the driving and traiIing-wheels coupled, with inside cylinders, and a six-wheeled tender. The engine is fitted with the vacuum-brake, working blocks on each of the driving and trailing-wheels, and on each of the tender-wheels. I am a spare driver, and work different engines, according to circumstances, and have worked No. 86 engine some two dozen times. My first work was to bring down the train of empty carriages, which afterwards formed the excursion train, from Dundalk. I started at 6.40 a.m., and arrived at Armagh at 8.35 a.m. ; I turned the engine, got water, and then waited for the train to start at 10.0 a.m. After turning and getting to the Newry end of the train, I put 13 vehicles on the up-platform main line, and a brake-van and carriage on the down-platform line ; when these latter were loaded, I crossed the road with them, and took up seven of the 13 vehicles which mere on the up-platform line; I pulled up with these nine vehicles about 100 yards, crossed with them into the Newry and Armagh yard, pulled forward on the Newry and Armagh main line to allow room for the remaining six-vehicles to be attached to the rear of the train ; these six vehicles were then moved on to the Newry and Armagh line, and I then backed on to them. When the train was ready to start, it consisted of engine and tender, brake-van 13 carriages and a brake-van or carriage, 15 vehicles in all. The brake power consisted of the vacuum brake, applying to the engine and tender, and to four wheels on each of the vehicles composing the train. The train then started at about 10.15 a.m. with a guard, front and rear. I had never been a driver on the Newry and Armagh line previously, but I had been a fireman on it with a ballast train, about five years ago, for six months, and on excursion trains for three years in succession, the last year being 1886, since which time I have not been on the line between Armagh and Goragh Wood. On finding that my train was to consist of 15 vehicles, I informed the station-master that I should not be able to take them, as I had got instructions at Dundalk that there would be only 13. The station-master replied " I did not write those instructions for you " ; I said " Mr. Cowan wrote: them." The stationmaster then said " Any driver that comes here does not grumble about taking an excursion train with him." I replied "Why did you not send proper word to Dundalk, and I should have a proper six-wheel coupled engine with me." I said no more, but walked away down the platform, this was about 10 minutes before the train started. I had great confidence in the engine I had, and thought I should be able to get up the bank with the 15 vehicles. We then started with about 130 lbs. (8.963 bar) of steam, the blowing off point, and we got on slowly till near to the top of the bank, not more than a few yards from it, gradually losing speed the whole way, but having still 125 lbs. (8.618 bar) of steam when the engine stopped. I made no attempt to start after the train stopped, feeling it would be useless. We had stopped two or three minutes, when Mr. Elliott, Mr. Cowans' chief clerk, who was on the foot-plate, said he would divide the train ; to which I said " All right.." Mr. Elliott then went away to the rear brake-van, and I saw him standing on the step of the rear van before the train was divided, and I saw also assistant-guard Moorhead putting down stones under the wheels of the rear vehicles, on the left side, also before the train was divided. Moorhead then came running to me and said " Hamilton's Bawn " ; this was after he had uncoupled the train, before which I had not set back. I had felt the pulling asunder of the brake-pipes when Moorhead uncoupled them, and my engine went back about a foot or so ; I think the screw-coupling must have been released before the brake-pipes were detached. Immediately after this, I heard Mr. Elliott shouting "Slack up " meaning that I should set back on the rear of the train. I looked back, and did so, Moorhead going back to hook-on, but in doing so he fell down on the side of the line ; on recovering himself, he ran on towards Armagh, I still following down, but Moorhead could not overtake the rear portion of the train, which ran away from him altogether, Mr. Elliott being on the step of one of the carriages. I followed the runaway part of the train, and was about a quarter of a mile from it when the collision took place. I had kept it in view till just the last. I do not think its speed ever exceeded 30 miles (48 kilometres) an hour. I did not see anyone jump from the runaway carriages as they were going down. Mr. Elliott was the first person to suggest dividing the train. I did not object, thinking the rear brake-ran would hold the rear portion. I am sure the stones were put down before the train was divided. I saw no one go back to protect the rear of the train, but supposed the guard would have done so. I knew the regular train was due to leave Armagh at 10.35. I do not think my speed, on ascending the bank, ever exceeded five or six miles (9.6 kilometres) an hour. It was about 10.35 a.m. when we stopped, up to which time the speed had been gradually decreasing. I think my engine would have mastered 13 vehicles well. I cannot account for the rear vehicles running back, except from the weight of the train on the rear van."

Henry Parkinson, fireman; three years' service; nine months fireman. "I am McGrath's regular fireman. I was firemen of No. 86 engine, and brought the empty train from Dundalk to Armagh on the 12th June. We had 14 vehicles from Dundalk, and took on a 15th at Portadown, and reached Armagh about 8.40 a.m. The train was ready about 10.15 a.m., and it then started, consisting of 13 vehicles, a brake-van next the engine, and a brake-van or carriage at the rear of the train, with a guard in each brake. Mr. Elliott was on the footplate, with me and McGrath. Before starting, McGrath spoke to the station-master, and said that he had instructions from Mr. Cowan to take only 13 carriages. The stationmaster said there would be 15, as there were too many passengers for 13. McGrath said if there were 15 he must have an assistant engine to help him up the bank. The station-master said he had no assistant engine. Some further conversation passed on the subject, but it ended by McGrath starting with the 15 vehicles. Before this a shunter had told McGrath that some of the carriages were to be taken by the regular train at 10.35 a.m. I do not know why this arrangement fell through. After starting we got on pretty well at first, but about two miles (3.2 kilometres) from Armagh the speed gradually became less, and at last we stopped altogether a short distance from the bridge at the top of the bank. We had about 125 lbs. (8.618 bar) of steam on starting, and about the same when we stopped. The only reason I could see for our stopping was the curve in the line. I then had some duties to attend to which prevented my hearing what passed between Mr. Elliott and McGrath. On coming back to the footplate, I found that Mr. Elliott had gone, and McGrath told me that the train had been divided, and that the rear portion was running away. Before this I had not heard Moorhead say to the driver " Hamilton's Bawn." McGrath then followed the rear portion of the train down the incline, and stopped about a quarter of a mile from the point of collision."

Armagh Rail disaster 1889James Elliott (examined in prison), 23 years' service: "I was first an office boy in the service of the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway Company ; I was then gradually promoted from step to step in the office at Dundalk, and when the Great Northern Company took the line, I was second clerk in the general manager's office at Dundalk. I succeeded to my present post of chief clerk about 10 years since. Almost every other day during the summer months of these 10 years I have had charge of excursion trains to various places accompanying them out and home. Sometimes one and sometimes three times in each summer I have had charge of excursion trains from Armagh to Warrenpoint, and also from other stations on the Newry and Armagh line. I have had, I think, as large, or almost as large, a number of excursionists as on the present occasion, and as many as 16 or 17 vehicles between Armagh and Warrenpoint. This would be three or four years since, when the engine would have been a six-wheels coupled engine. I believe the application on this occasion was for a train of 14 vehicles, the engine power being left to the locomotive department. I arrived at Armagh at about 9.50 a.m. on the 12th June, and I then found the whole train, consisting of 13 carriages and two vans, standing at the up main line platform for Clones ; the train was then loaded, with the engine at the Goragh Wood end. I walked along the train, and saw that it was well filled with children and adults all mixed together, and some people still getting in. I noticed that the checkers were locking the doors on the right hand side of the train, as it would proceed to Goragh Wood. This is usually done with excursion trains, to prevent unauthorised persons getting in after the tickets are checked. Coming back from the rear of the train, I met Mr. Foster, the station-master, and I said the train seems pretty well filled ; he said, " Yes, I had to give out more tickets this morning, and I wanted to put on more carriages, and the driver refused to take them." I said I thought he would be the better of assistance for what he has got, and Mr. Foster at once sent shunter Hutchinson to tell driver Murphy to lie ready to assist the excursion train up the bank. I shortly after went and asked McGrath if he wanted assistance, and he said he did not. I knew that he had a four-wheel coupled-engine on his train, and though I thought he had his load, I did not press him to have assistance, thinking he was a better judge than me of the power of his engine. I do not know that I have had any previous experience of the power of an engine like No. 86 for drawing a heavy train up the Armagh bank ; but two years ago, I think, a bogie-engine, No. 19, four-wheels coupled, took up an excursion train of 14 vehicles without any special difficulty. Some shunting had to take place to get the train on to the Newry line, and we were able to start at 10.15 a.m. by my watch. I rode on the engine, McGrath and Parkinson being the only other persons on it ; they appeared both fit for their work, with no appearance about them of having taken liquor. It is my usual custom with these excursion trains to travel on the engine, there being-a guard in each of the vans, the rear guard, Henry, being in immediate charge. I considered Henry an experienced man, as though not a regular guard, he is constantly acting as guard, particularly with special trains. Moorhead has also acted as special guard with cattle and other trains, but he is not a regular guard. The train made a good start, with, I think, 130 lbs. (8.963 bar) of steam. I did not see the vacuum brake tried. The engine did very well till it passed Derry's crossing (near the nineteenth mile post) where it began to lose speed, without any apparent cause, and continued to do pretty well till it had got to within 300 or 400 yards (274.32 or 365.76 metres) of where it stopped, and then the speed gradually diminished till the engine stopped about 200 yards (182.88 metres) from Dobbins Bridge, at 10.33 a.m. by my watch, the pressure being just below the mark which, I believe, represents 125 lbs. (8.618 bar) I do not think the driver applied the vacuum brake when we stopped, but he may have done so without my noticing it. I consulted the driver as to what was best to be done, and he said I will take a portion of the train to Hamilton's Bawn, and return for, the remainder. I thought this was the best thing to be done, as Hamilton's Bawn was only about a mile off. I then at once went along to the rear van and said to Henry, put on your brake tight, he said, " it is on." I asked if he had any sprags, he said he had not. It was not his duty to have them in a passenger train van, but I thought he might have had some. I then said, " put some stones behind the wheels as we are going to take a portion of the train to Hamilton's Bawn," and I saw Henry come out of the van on the left side, the side I was on. I then ran back to the front of the train, called Moorhead, and asked him how many carriages Hamilton's Bawn siding would hold ; he said, five, he thought, but he had noticed two wagons standing there when he passed in the morning. I said take five with you, and if there is not room, bring the front van back. I then told him to uncouple the train between the fifth and sixth vehicles. I did not see him put a stone under the front wheel of the sixth vehicle ; he first uncoupled the left side chain, then the vacuum pipes, and then either the screw coupling or right side chain, I cannot say which he did first. At first he could not get off the screw coupling by easing the screw a little, and I then made him unscrew to the full length, and he was then able to get the coupling off without much difficulty, and without the engine being set back, it being my object to prevent this by letting Moorhead unscrew to the full extent. After the severance had been made, both portions of the train remained at perfect rest ; I then told Moorhead to tell the driver to go straight away and on no account to come back against the carriages, and he went up to the driver ; I then went down towards the rear van for the purpose of myself going towards Armagh with signals to protect the train, and I had almost got to the van when I saw the buffers driven in and heard the grinding of the carriages going over the stones, and I made up my mind that the driver must have set back against the rear portion of the train. The van began to move back also when the pressure from the buffers came against it. I at once tried to put stones behind the wheels, and put down three or four, but they were simply crushed by the wheels, and I then jumped on to the left step of the van of which I noticed the wheels revolving, and not skidding at all, and shouted to Henry to put on the brake tightly. He said he could make nothing more of it. I saw that he and another man were both working at the handle. The speed by this time had reached 20 miles (32 kilometres) an hour. I jumped off the van, and fell down, and ran up towards the driver, who was coming down after the train. I said, "My God ! what did you come back against the carriages for ? " And he said he could not get started, and set, back the slightest thing. I then got on the engine and followed the runaways down until stopped by the gateman at Derry crossing, and I neither saw nor heard the collision. I calculated that, I should save time by dividing the train, instead of waiting to be assisted by the regular train. From what I saw I believe the brake of the rear van must have been out of order. After the carriages started I saw two or three men about the line, putting down stones. I saw no pieces of wood lying about to use as sprags, and it did not occur to me to try and use the old rails. I was fully under the impression that the van break would hold the train, otherwise I would not have divided it."

Patrick Murphy, driver; 31 years' service, 20 years driver with the Newry and Armagh Company until 1879, when the line was purchased by the Great Northern Company. "I have been driver since 1869 on the Newry and Armagh Railway. I commenced work at 8 a.m. on the 12th June, and brought in the 8.40 a.m. train from Newry to Armagh, where I arrived at 9.50 a.m. The rails were dry on the incline leading to Armagh. I started back for Newry at 10.39 a.m., four minutes late, waiting for the arrival of a train from Belfast. My engine was No. 9, a six-wheeled engine, with the leading and driving wheels coupled, and a six-wheeled tender. The train consisted of a horse-box, brake-van, three carriages and a brake-van with a third class compartment. The vacuum brake was fitted to the four coupled wheels of the engine, to all the wheels of the tender, and to four out of six wheels of the rear five vehicles, there being pipes under the horse-box. I tested the brake before I started, and could get about 20 inches of vacuum. There were about 20 passengers in my train. I had the train staff on the engine. Nothing unusual occurred on the journey until the fireman, who was on the right hand side of the engine, called out " Hold ! hold ! hold ! " this was near the nineteenth mile post (i.e., two miles from Armagh), and my speed at the time was from 25 to 30 miles an hour. I first whistled, then shut off steam on myself seeing the carriages coming back, next applied the vacuum brake with full force; the fireman reversed and applied back steam. By these means the speed was reduced to between two and three miles an hour, when the carriages, of which the speed was high, ran into the engine. I did not jump off, but turned round and caught hold of the coal plate of the tender, standing on the tender foot-plate ; the tender at once broke away from the engine, and ran back with the horse-box attached to it for about a quarter of a mile, when I stopped them with the tender brake which was still working. The five vehicles had broken away from the horse-box and ran back in front of the tender and horse-box, and were stopped by the guard's brake three or four carriages' lengths from the horsebox. On the collision taking place, the engine turned over on its right side, and remained with its right side lying on the slope of the bank, just foul of the nearest rail. The tender gave a great lurch on the engine breaking away from it, but did not leave the rails. The fireman jumped off to the right just before the crash, and rolled down the slope of the bank ; not much of the debris of the runaway vehicles came on to the footplate, and the wreckage went principally to the left. I did not look at my watch when the accident occurred, but it must have been about five minutes after starting. The morning was fine and dry. I have driven No. 30 engine, which is a sister engine to No. 86, the one which drew the excursion train. I have never taken more than 10 vehicles up the Armagh Bank with it. With No. 9 engine, I have taken a train of 17 vehicles, consisting of five carriages and 12 cattle wagons and horse-boxes. I had seen the excursion train start, and thought it was a heavy train, and passed the remark to my fireman that I thought our engine could pull it up the bank. I have taken excursion trains myself, consisting of 14 vehicles with engine No. 82A, which is a heavy engine ; I never stuck on the Armagh Bank. On the runaway carriages colliding with the engine it stopped dead and quivered, but did not run back at all before turning over."

Wreckage from the Armagh Rail Disaster 1889John Foster, station-master, at Armagh; 35 years' service; 12 years station-master at Armagh. "I was on duty on the morning of the 12th June, and had charge of the arrangements connected with the excursion train for Newry, due to start at 10 o'clock with about 940 passengers, children and adults. To hold these, there were required 13 vehicles and two brake-vans, one of which, the rear one, had one passenger compartment. From my knowledge of the traffic, I considered that engine No. 86 was quite well able to take these 15 vehicles up the Armagh Bank. On McGrath's arrival from Dundalk with the empty train, I was going to make his train up to 16 or 17, but he declined to take more than the 15 he had brought from Dundalk, and I told the shunter to give him no more. It had not been at all in my mind to transfer any of the 15 vehicles to the 10.35 a.m. ordinary train. On the arrival of the empty train I had instructed the shunter to attach a first-class carriage to it, but, on the shunter proceeding to do this, McGrath objected to its being added to the 15, so the rear third-class carriage from Portadown was removed, and the first-class substituted for it. The train started at 10.16 a.m., with a train ticket, full throughout, and the 10.35 a.m. train followed with the staff. Mr. Elliott, after going round the train, said it had better be assisted up the bank, upon which I gave the driver of the 10.35 a.m. train instructions, through the shunter, to be ready to do so : but two minutes before the train started, Mr. Elliott told me that he had been speaking to McGrath, who said that he did not want assistance. There was a very slight shower shortly after the train started. I have no knowledge as to the cause of the engine of the excursion train stopping where it did. I could not say whether the doors of the excursion train were locked on both sides from my own knowledge, but I do know that the manager of the excursion train desired that this should be done. It is a common practice to do this with children's excursion trains. I cannot speak positively as to the number of passengers in the train, but it could not be more than 941, and of these, roughly speaking, two-thirds would be children up to 15 years of age, and one-third adults. I think that, of the 600 children, or thereabouts, 150 would be under five years of age. The line is worked on the train staff and ticket system, Market Hill being the first staff station, 10 minutes being the interval for one passenger train following another, 20 minutes for a passenger train following a goods' train, and five minutes for a goods train following passenger train. I gave the driver, McGrath, the ticket, and I had the staff in my hand a second before this. I think I have sent as many, if not more, vehicles than 15 in previous excursion trains, but this would have been with a sixwheel coupled engine ; but I could not be certain of the greatest number there have been taken by a fourwheel coupled engine, though I am pretty sure that 12 carriages filled with police and two vans have been taken from Armagh towards Newry by a four-wheel coupled engine. I remember one case of an engine failing to draw its train up Armagh Bank, and then it came back altogether. This was a train of 18 wagons of cattle drawn by a single engine."

In summing up his report on the accident, Mr. C. S. Hutchinson, the assistant secretary of the Railway Department at the Board of Trade said: "As there is no evidence to show that acting guard Henry did not put on his brake before 1eaving the brake carriage, as he says he did apply it to the best of his power, and as it is hardly credible that he should not have done so, he may, I think, have the benefit of the doubt. Acting guard Moorhead appears to have acted to the best of his ability in carrying out Mr. Elliott's orders, and is in no way to be blamed. Both Henry and Moorhead, although not regular guards, are experienced men, and have frequently acted as guards, both with excursion and other trains. Driver Murphy, fireman Herd, and guard Graham of the ordinary train appear to have done their duty prior to the collision; Murphy and Graham are deserving of commendation inasmuch as, though both knocked about and shaken by the collision, they each succeeded in promptly stopping the runaway portions into which their train was divided, without any further mishap occurring. It has s grave error to allow passengers to travel in the brake-van and brake-compartment of the brake-carriage of the excursion train; it is, no doubt, a difficult thing to prevent in a train of which, as in the present case, the carriages are full, but it is a practice that should be sternly prohibited. It was also a wrong thing to permit the excursion train to start with many, if not all, of the doors locked on both sides. This is said to be a common practice with excursion trains for children, to prevent their improperly opening the doors when the train is in motion; it is, however, a practice which has, before this, led to serious consequences, and very probably, on the present occasion, prevented the escape of some of the passengers before the runaway vehicles had attained a high velocity. Considering the weight of the excursion train, and the steep gradients it had to surmount, both brake van and brake carriage should have been placed at the rear of the train instead of the one in front and the other in rear. Mr. Elliott appears to me to be responsible for passengers having been allowed to travel in the front brake van and rear brake compartment, and for not having both brake vehicles placed at the rear of the train, and Mr. Foster, the station master at Armagh, for allowing the doors of the carriages to be locked on both sides. "

All in all eighty people died that day, twenty of them children under 15 years of age. Officially there were also 170 others injured, but unofficially this total could have been as high as 400. The distress caused by the poignancy of so many deaths particularly of children dressed in their 'Sunday Best' who had so been looking forward to their day at the seaside, proved very difficult to overcome. Paddy Murphy who drove the 10.35 scheduled train from Armagh never worked again. Six railway officers were tried and found guilty of negligence. No senior management or directors of the Great Northern Railway of Ireland were charged or convicted, even though they had chosen the less than adequate non-automatic brake. The Armagh accident remains Ireland's worst railway disaster.


Anderson, Mary 19     Tullyarn Farmer's daughter.
Bell. Anne 27     Lower English Street Servant.
Bourke, William 18     English Street Grocer's apprentice.
Boyd, Maria 17     Barrack Hill.  
Cleeland, James 58     Railway Street Grocer.
Cleeland, Margaret 45     Railway Street Wife of James Cleeland.
Cleeland, Charles 14     Railway Street Son of James and Margaret Cleeland.
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Cleeland, Robert 7     Railway Street Son of James and Margaret Cleeland.
Connoll, Sarah 24     Mullyloughran  
Connolly, Margaret 45     Manchester  
Crozier, William 25     Market Street Assistant in hardware shop.
Devlin, Betsy 20       Servant.
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Edwards, David 8     Railway Street Child of G. A. Edwards, Esq., J.P.
Edwards, Minnie 7     Railway Street Child of G. A. Edwards, Esq., J.P.
Gibson, Margaret 18     Irish Street Milliner.
Hamill, Mary 21     Lunatic Asylum Nurse.
Henderson, Thomas 60     Barrack Street Plumber.
Hill, Thomas 16     Lower English Street Clerk.
Hillock, Henry 14     Palace Row  
Holland, William W. 17     Dobbin Street Assistant teacher in National School.
Hull, Agnes 12     Jenney's Row.  
Huston, Morgh 17     Ballycrummy  
Irwin, Robert John 23     Lunatic Asylum Keeper in Lunatic Asylum.
Irwin, Edith C. 10       Daughter of James Irwin, grocer.
Jenkinson, Henry 72     Dobbin Street Ex-warder retired on pension.
Jenkinson, Mary 36     Dobbin Street Wife of Henry Jenkinson.
Johnston, Joseph 45     Lower English Street  
Johnston, Eliza 40     Banbrook Hill Wife of Joseph Johnston, labourer.
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Logue, Ernest 10     Palace Row  
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M'Farland, Bethia 20     Barrack Hill Dressmaker.
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Mason, Margaret 18     Scotch Street Daughter of James Mason, grocer.
Mason, Mary Jane 12     Scotch Street Daughter of James Mason, grocer.
McCann, Joseph 50     Poor School Lane Labourer.
McCann, Catherine 40     Poor School Lane Wife of Joseph McCann.
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Mills, Maggie 22     Lisadian Farmer's daughter.
Mitchell, Robert 40     Scotch Street Hairdresser.
Mitchell, Mary 35     Scotch Street Wife of Robert Mitchell.
Mitchell, William R. 2     Scotch Street Son of Robert and Mary Mitchell.
Moore, F. W. 12     Lisadian  
Mullaghan, John 50     Charter School Lane Labourer.
Mullan, William R. W. 18     Abbey Street Son of Reverend W . Mullan.
Murdock,Minnie 16     English Street Milliner.
Murry, Catherine 28     Lower English Street  
Neale, Charles 45     Lunatic Asylum Gatekeeper.
Neale, Mary J. 40     Lunatic Asylum Wife of Charles Neale.
Neale, Eliza       Lunatic Asylum Daughter of Charles and Mary Neale.
Orr, Jane 18     Ballynich Farmer's daughter.
Orr, Mary 15     Ballynich Farmer's daughter.
Orr, James          
Parks, Agnes 18     Mullinure Farmer's daughter.
Parks, William       Newry Road  
Patterson, Margaret 17     Drumond  
Quinn, Minnie Jane 18     Barrack Street Dressmaker.
Reilly, Mina 16     Abbey Street Labourer.
Robinson, Matilda 50     Drumadd  
Robinson, Charles 18     Market Street  
Robinson, Bertie 14     Market Street  
Rountree, Lizzie 18     Slater's Grange Dressmaker's apprentice.
Rountree, Mary 16     Slater's Grange Dressmaker's apprentice.
Scott, Sarah 41     Drummond Farmer's wife.
Simpson, Eugenia 15     Scotch Street  
Sloan, Lizzie 14     Barrack Hill  
Steele, Samuel M. 40     Abbey Street Clerk of Petty Sessions.
Steele, Sarah Eliza 9     Abbey Street Daughter of Samuel Steele.
Steele, Ethel 7     Abbey Street Daughter of Samuel Steele.
Steenson, Margaret 11     Linenhall Street  
Thompson, Jane 40     Lower English Street Servant.
Walker, William 13     Barrack Street  
Warnock, Robert       Newry Road  
Watt, Ellen 20     Middleton, Tullycline  
Wolff, Hettie 10     Abbey Street  

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