Douglas Bennett records a number of marks by William Hughes, dating them between 1767 and 1784. None of these marks are in a serated edge punch. Jackson also records William Hughes as a Freeman, dated 1767 to 1784. He also records a William Hughes mark dated 1774 but not with the serated edge. There are other makers with the "WH" initials but given that we cannot find any record of this particular mark we cannot be certain of the attribution.
This is a pair of cast tongs and it is quite rare to find Irish cast tongs. In style there is nothing to distinguish them from English cast tongs of the same period. Sadly they have a nasty split at the top of one arm but this is not uncommon with cast tongs. The hallmark is lovely and clear and the tongs can be dated some time prior to 1787. I would estimate around about 1770.
Click on any picture to enlarge