The "Black Donnellys" lived near Lucan, north of
London, Ont., in the nineteenth century. This Irish family had a reputation for violence and lawlessness, and did much to alienate their neighbours in a running feud that was imported from Ireland. In February 1880, a vigilante committee descended on the Donnelly farmstead and took justice into their own hands, leading to a brutal and controversial outcome.
The terrible Donnelly feud, reportedly the most notorious and violent in the history of Canada, began in the spring of 1847 only hours after Irish immigrant James Donnelly arrived in the town of Lucan, Ontario. For almost 33 years murders, gang wars, robbery, mass arson, derailed trains, and mutilations marked the town.
If anyone is interested in learning more, they can visit Lucan, Ontatio and stop by the Lucan Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum. You can even trace the path taken by the Vigilance Committee the night of February 3, and early morning hours of February 4, 1880 when the massacre occurred.