Emily’s father Rev. William John Burke, fled Galway city after a second upsurge of violence against him and his family. After leaving Galway court house a mob stoned him again following him to his lodgings in Eyre Square, and practically in the front door of the lodging house. One member of the mob told his landlady that if she were to keep him in her home it would be on her own head if any damage was done to the property. He took refuge in the Sheriff’s prison, again requiring the protection of the law. It was from the prison that he wrote of his ordeal to the Achill Missionary Herald, telling of the violence against him and his family. He was released without charge by the courts but was far from a free man.
As it was not safe to return to his native Galway so he and his family made their way to Achill to take refuge at the Church Mission in Dugort.