A faction fight between two Irish families led to one man being killed and the trial judge launching into a tirade against the Irish culture.
On the afternoon of Sunday 3rd October 1847 two extended Irish families, the Shannons and the Mulloys, were drinking at Cullins pub in Prescot. 36 year old James Murray arrived and upset the atmosphere by making some derogatory remarks about the women of the Mulloy family. This led to a melee in which glasses were thrown and lanterns extinguished.
When the landlord began ejecting people from the pub Murray picked up a poker and went outside, shouting out that he wanted to fight one of the Mulloys and asked who would take him on. Martin Mulloy was the nearest to him and even though he had left the pub as soon as the affray broke out, Murray said 'what are you waiting for' then struck him on the back of the head with the poker.
Mulloy returned home but complained of feeling giddy and he died the following Thursday of internal injuries. Murray was found guilty of manslaughter at the South Lancashire Assizes on 14th December leading to a condemnation of Irish culture by Baron Alderson. He said 'The Irish are too excitable people, a little phlegm of the English must be infused into them.' He then sentenced Murray to two years imprisonment with hard labour.