Below are excerpts from student commentaries for Michael Fay’s class following the AP U.S. History field trip to The Garden of Martyrs execution site. Read more about the trip.
It was also chilling to envision a mass crowd of people from the old court house to this spot, it made me view the execution at the time to be sort of a parade for the town, rather than an act of “justice.” Being Irish, and having Catholic roots, it made me realize how much injustice occurred at the time.
For both Daley with a family to look out for, and Halligan with such a full life ahead of him, the walk down the road and up the hill to the gallows must have felt like a lifetime. I agree with Ryan that it truly seems much more like a “parade” than an execution of the law. It is easy to understand why following the hanging the attitude shifted from one of curiosity, excitement, and revenge, to one, rightfully so, of solemnity and guilt.