The Limerick community has been shaken by a suicide in a local hotel, prompting an inquest by Mr P. E. Bourke, J.P., and Mr J. H. Roche, J.P., in the absence of the city coroner. The deceased, George Cope, was found in his hotel room at the Commercial Hotel on Sunday, with a large incised wound on his throat. Dr Mulcahy, who examined the body, believed that death occurred to haemorrhage and that the wound could have been self-inflicted, stating that Cope had been dead for approximately six or seven hours.
Cope had been recently employed as a mechanical dentist by Mr Marcus Jaffe since Saturday, who stated that he didn’t notice anything particularly unusual about Cope, except for the fact that he wore his cap indoors. John McNamara, the proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, mentioned that Cope complained about feeling sore from his journey from England. On Sunday evening, after noticing the absence of the deceased throughout the day, McNamara tried to enter Cope’s room, only to find something blocking the door. Upon forcing open the door, he discovered Cope’s lifeless body on the floor and subsequently alerted the police.
Mrs. McNamara and Miss Winifred Fitzgerald, a barmaid at the hotel, also testified that they had noticed nothing peculiar about Cope. He had been last seen alive Saturday night, around 9 pm, when he was going to his room, simply saying, “Good night, ladies.”
Sergeant Walsh of the R.I.C. provided details about the scene, explaining that there was blood around the body, and an open, blood-stained razor nearby. In addition, a bottle containing a small amount of whiskey and two bottles of medicine were found in Cope’s possession, along with £3 and a pawn ticket dated Friday, August 1st. Eight business letters and a telegram addressed to Cope in England were also discovered, but none provided any insight into the reason for his tragic action.
Based on the evidence, the jury concluded that George Cope had committed suicide while temporarily insane. The shocking incident serves as a sombre reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and support within the community, raising questions about how such tragic events can be prevented in the future.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 05 August 1902