An immense number of people, some in carriages, and some on horseback, moving in slow and measured pace, formed part of the procession...the GLOVES were carried on a cushion in front of the hearse, from which the horses had been unyoked by the crowd, and multitudes contended for the honor of assisting in drawing it....
...whatever failings he might have had, he never was ashamed of his country; abroad or at home he stood up in its defence, and was always ready to give a milling to those who disputed its pre-eminence....
Gazing around the gallery, half-dreaming, I wonder: A century from now, will anyone come upon my own scratchings, as I have delved into these?
The dead champion was interred on the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham while the magazines filled with elegiac verse:
Oh, Erin's daughters, come and shed your tears
On your Champion's grave, who loved you many years
To Erin's sons this day's a day of sorrow;
Who have we now that will defend our Curragh?
What dire misfortune has our land o 'er spread,
Our Irish Champion's numbered with the dead.
The trouble was, poor Donnelly wasn't numbered with the dead for very long. It was the heyday of the professional grave robber; in Dublin they were known as "Resurrectionists" or the "Sack 'em Ups." Their trade sprang from the prohibition (until 1832) of the use of human cadavers in medical education. As executed murderers were the only exception, and since in Ireland in the 1820s professors of surgery outnumbered the recently hanged by a ratio of about six to one, it was inevitable that a commerce in contraband corpses would spring up.
It became imperative, therefore, for the tombs of the freshly departed to be guarded day and night. But the Champion of Ireland had had the bad judgment to die in the middle of winter. For a day or two a phalanx of bereaved boxing fans attended his burial place, but then, as Carrick's reported:
Their naturally jovial disposition and the severity of the weather prompted them to make too frequent libations on the tomb of the departed champion and disabled them from perceiving or opposing those riflers of the House of Death.