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In Castleisland Petty Sessions: Rail Company's Prosecution for Obstruction |

In Castleisland Petty Sessions: Rail Company’s Prosecution for Obstruction

At the recent session of the Castleisland Petty Sessions, a case of obstruction brought forth by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company unfolded, with Mr J. Mangan acting as the legal representative for the complainants. The proceedings centred around events that transpired on a fateful day, the precise date of which remains undisclosed, but are reported to have occurred in the year prior.

The central figure in this case, Mr John Buckley, stood accused of obstruction and was called to answer for his actions on that unspecified date. The railway porter, Mr Maurice Sheehan, provided a detailed account of the incident, drawing from his firsthand experience of events that unfolded on the 5th of December.

According to Mr Sheehan’s testimony, he ventured into a third-class compartment on that day, where he unexpectedly encountered Mr John Buckley, the defendant in this case. However, to his astonishment, a certain Mr Counihan, previously acquainted with the Petty Sessions, was concealed beneath the seats. A series of events unfolded, as Mr Sheehan attempted to enter the compartment, encountering resistance from Mr Buckley who obstructed his passage and forcibly pushed Mr Counihan back into his hiding place.

Further complicating matters, when Mr Sheehan sought to ascertain Mr Counihan’s identity, Mr Buckley intervened, providing false information and identifying himself as ‘Pat McCarthy’. This deception raised suspicions, and the involvement of Mr Canty, the stationmaster at Gortatlea, was enlisted to corroborate Mr Sheehan’s account of events. Mr Canty affirmed that Mr Sheehan had drawn his attention to the individual who claimed to be ‘Pat McCarthy’ from Hospital, County Limerick.

As the situation unfolded, Mr Canty proceeded to request the fare from Mr McCarthy, for a journey from Tralee to Castleisland. It was during this exchange that Mr McCarthy disclosed possessing a mere 6 pence to cover the cost. Mr Buckley initially offered to pay for Mr Counihan’s fare, but subsequently withdrew his pledge, a turn of events accompanied by the use of inappropriate language and a physical confrontation with Mr Canty. In light of Mr Buckley’s disruptive behaviour, Mr Sheehan was obliged to relocate the female passengers who occupied the compartment to another, resulting in a delay of approximately 16 minutes to the train’s schedule.

After due consideration of the presented evidence, the court arrived at a verdict, finding Mr John Buckley guilty of obstruction. Regrettably, the available information does not provide the specifics of the subsequent sentencing.

The case in question underscores the significance of the Castleisland Petty Sessions as a forum for addressing issues related to obstruction and the maintenance of order in the operation of railway services. It is a matter of record that the court rendered a verdict of guilt in this instance, underlining the consequences of disruptive conduct during railway travel.

Kerry News – Wednesday 30 December 1903

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