first_imgTHE remains of a teenage Co Donegal railroad worker believed to have been murdered in America more than 180 years ago will be brought back to Ireland for burial this weekend.Extensive DNA tests and a decade-long investigation will lead to the remains of 18-year-old John Ruddy being laid to rest in his native Ardara this Saturday at 2pm.He was one of 57 workers who died in an incident at Duffy’s Cut 30 miles from Philadelphia in August 1832. The workers were all from Donegal, Derry and Tyrone and had arrived in Pennsylvania on a ship from Derry City just three months earlier.Two Irish-American brothers, Immaculata University Professor William Watson and his Lutheran preacher brother Frank, say there was a cholera outbreak on the railroad and the workers either died of the disease or were bludgeoned to death to prevent them leaving it.The skulls of six of the located remains showed fractures, including that of John Ruddy.Only his remains however have been formally identified, with DNA samples taken from known relatives. Vincent Gallagher, a native of Donegal and now living in Philadelphia, has donated a grave in Ardara for the March 2 reburial.“John Ruddy’s body was the only one of those found that they were able to positively identify,” said Mr Gallagher.The remains of five others – including a woman – were reburied at a cemetery near Duffy’s Cut last year.Permission to excavate the site further has been refused because the main AmTrak railway to Philadelphia now runs through it.“Tests on all six sets of remains showed that they were murdered,” said Prof William Watson. “Some of them were bludgeoned to death.”The Watsons will travel to Ireland for the memorial service at the Church of the Holy Family.Details of the 1832 incident remained hidden in history until 1970 when details were found in the files of the bankrupted Philadelphia Railroad Company for former company secretary Joseph Tripican.He was the Watsons’ grandfather and they began their research 20 years later before beginning a formal investigation with the help of forensic scientists a decade ago. Just 14 of the 57 men who died have ever been named, nine from Donegal, three from Tyrone and two from Derry.John Ruddy was the youngest, the oldest was another Donegal man by the name of George Doherty.They were all taken to America by Irish railroad contractor Philip Duffy, after whom the stretch of track was named.As details emerged of the violent deaths of the six bodies recovered, singer Christy Moore wrote and sang a song in their memory called ‘Duffy’s Cut’.EndsCO DONEGAL RAILROAD WORKER TO BE LAID TO REST 180 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH was last modified: February 28th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ArdaraCO DONEGAL RAILROAD WORKER TO BE LAID TO REST 180 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATHlast_img

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