Newly revealed documents confirm that Pierrepoint struck a deal with the Dublin authorities to carry out the execution of Annie Walsh (31) and her nephew Michael Talbot (24).Stock Images

The Irish government availed of a ‘buy one get one half price deal’ in 1925 – from the notorious English hangman Thomas Pierrepoint.

Newly revealed documents confirm that Pierrepoint struck a deal with the Dublin authorities to carry out the execution of Annie Walsh (31) and her nephew Michael Talbot (24).

They were sentenced to the death penalty for the murder of Annie’s elderly husband, Edward Walsh, at his County Limerick farm.

Pierrepoint was the hangman of choice for the Free State government who chose not to employ an Irish executioner after the War of Independence.

The Englishman would regularly travel from his home in Yorkshire to carry out hangings in Ireland at a cost of £10 per execution.

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In August of 1925 he travelled to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin for the rare double hanging and struck a bargain price deal with the Irish authorities.

His invoice totalled just £15, with the hangman slashing the price for the second execution to just £5 – or 50% off.

Now his invoice and expenses claim, submitted to Ireland’s Department of Finance, is to be auctioned by the Mealy’s sales house in March.

The Irish Times reports that the document, handwritten in spidery black ink, is possibly the most macabre ever submitted to the department.

The letter, from his home address near the city of Bradford, requests reimbursement of fees and travel expenses for Pierrepoint an unnamed assistant, believed to be his nephew Albert Pierrepoint, who was later appointed hangman.

The senior hangman travelled first class, by rail and saloon, according to his expense claim, while his nephew went by third class travel.

They spent the night before the execution in Mountjoy Prison where they rested the gallows equipment. According to the report, refreshments for each man amounted to only ‘10 shillings’ as ‘hangmen were discouraged from drinking alcohol the night before a job’.

Auctioneer George F Mealy believes the letter could fetch a thousand dollars. “It might appeal to collectors and is interesting as a curiosity and a historical manuscript,” he told the paper.

A total of 35 hangings took place in Dublin between November 1923 and April 1954.

Walsh was the only woman hanged in the history of the Free State although the British did pardon six women sentenced to execution during their stay.

The Pierrepoint family carried out most 20th-century executions in Ireland and Britain with Thomas’s brother Henry also in the trade.

Thomas Pierrepoint died aged 83 in February 1954, just two months before Albert carried out the last hanging in the State, that of Michael Manning (25) from Limerick.

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