“The months of April, May and June of 1801 were eventful and bloody in the Ballinree area”.
(Boherlahan Dualla Historical Journal 1999).
Because of the bad weather and bad harvests over the previous years, people in general were not in a forgiving mood towards landlords and big farmers.
Also, many people were upset because they were forced off their land, and other tenants were brought in instead of them.
The only way people felt that they could get justice was by taking the law into their own hands and attacking a person that they had a grievance with. One such person was William Price. He had become the new tenant of land in Ballinree.
One day William Price was travelling from Ballinree to Synone and as he crossed the road on the way back, half way between Kelly’s cross and Synone cross, he was shot and fatally wounded. He did not die immediately of his wounds but lived for several hours and was able to identify those involved in the shooting. The two men were arrested and were tried and found guilty and were brought back to the scene of the crime and were hanged, possibly from the nearest tree.
Many local people were afraid when walking past the tree at night as they knew something bad had happened at the spot, but no one ever spoke of what happened. It was thought that the tree was an elm tree but this has long since died. There is now an ash tree growing at the spot.