Tumut River

News From The Interior. (From our various Correspondents.)  

The Sydney Morning Herald

12 June 1843

June 1. A short time since, an application was made by the inhabitants of the Tumut, to his Excellency the Governor, for the loan of ten men, to repair the road leading from the Tumut to the Murrumbidgee River.

His Excellency immediately complied with their request, the men were forwarded, and they have been employed on the road for the last five weeks. A committee of five gentlemen was selected to take the management of the men, and everything proceeded with satisfaction to (I believe) the whole of the inhabitants, till the 28th ultimo.

On that day a wedding was to have taken place, and a dinner provided, at only a few yards from where the men were at work. Some parties in the house supplied four of the men belonging to the road-party with spirits, and a quarrel ensued.

A man named Patrick Dwyer, an immigrant, took up an axe and a thick batten for the purpose of beating them out; the axe was wrested from him; he then struck one of the road-party on the head, when the others rushed out of the house, pursued by Dwyer; after following one man about forty yards, he knocked him down with the batten, and struck him two blows on the head, each blow penetrating to the brain.

After murdering this man, Dwyer then pursued the second man, and struck him two blows on the head, and was about repeating the third blow, when one of the rood party who had not been in the affair, came up and threw a stone at him which attracted his attention.

Dwyer then pursued this man, but found he could not overtake him, came across a third man, one of the road party, and commenced beating him on the head, when the man who threw the stone at him again returned, and called out for him not to murder the whole of the men; he then desisted and walked up to the house.

There are three men now lying very ill, but are attended by two medical men of the district, and are fast recovering. There is not any blame to be attached to anyone but the parties giving the men the rum.

The committee intrusted with the management have been very attentive to the men since their arrival, visiting them ten or twelve times in four weeks, although a distance of fifteen miles.

The man Dwyer has been fully committed to take his trial for the murder, and has been forwarded to Berrima.

It is to be trusted that His Excellency will not remove the men - the public have gone to a great expense, and, as we before said, no one intrusted with the management of the men was in any way to blame, but showed every attention to them while at work.

Another lamentable occurrence took place the day following. A fine, interesting little boy, about nine years of age, son of an immigrant named John Madigan, was unfortunately killed by the overturning of a dray, the side-iron of which came on his neck, and very nearly severed the head from the body.