Bushtonwn Hotel Coleraine
On a cold dark morning October 1881, highwayman “Cushy Glen” plots with his wife “Biddy” before heading off for the trader’s fair in Coleraine. However, it was not wheeling and dealing that intrigued the ruthless highwayman, it was the rich traders and cattle dealers that would be present. All day would be spent hanging around absorbing the mood, whilst listening and learning the identities of those who were selling and cashing in their hard-earned year’s work.
Later that evening, the flush traders celebrated their success dram after dram in the Rams Head pub and as the evening wore on, they would remove the door from its hinges laying it on the floor to create a platform for dance. It was here in this alcohol infused atmosphere that the highwayman selected his next victim. Sitting in the corner with his hat pulled down over his face the highwayman listens…. a flamboyant trader is boasting of his riches and shouts at the barman “give all these chaps a drink on me for I must be off home to attend to my herd before bed tonight” At hearing this, without a sound or glance and with only the candlelight glinting off his shoulders, the highwayman disappeared through the doorway into the dark streets of Coleraine.
By the river a horse is tied. It’s now crucial that the highwayman creates some distance between his steed and that of the wealthy cattle dealer in tow. On The mountain pass not far from the highwayman’s homestead, he lay in wait behind whine bushes. His ambush will take place at the foot of a small bray, and with his small stature he will be completely invisible to the weary cattle dealer towering over him on horseback. Suddenly a flash as the highwayman takes shot at the dealer’s horse, the horse rears and unseated its master instantly. Drawing his knife, the highwayman commits his crime and relieves a helpless cattle dealer of his earnings. A pistol Shot in the dead of night is the signal that Biddy had been waiting for and she rushes to be at her husband’s side. With all their effort they trail the cattle dealer to his waiting grave “the Murder Hole”. With no remorse and with spoils in hand they flee the scene…..