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Disagreement among Jury Results in Failure of Justice in O'Grady Assault Trial |

Disagreement among Jury Results in Failure of Justice in O’Grady Assault Trial

Rathkeale – The trial of Michael O’Grady, accused of causing grievous bodily harm to John Ahern, took an unexpected turn at the Literick Assizes on Saturday. Before the Lord Chief Baron, a jury consisting of twelve members was unable to reach a unanimous decision, leading to a failure of justice in the case.

The prosecution, led by Mr R. Barry, KC, and Mr Murphy, BL, representing the Crown and instructed by solicitor Mr M. Leaby, presented their case against the accused. Mr Callinan, BL, appeared on behalf of Michael O’Grady.

Testimony began with James Abern, a farmer from Glensharrold, who recounted the events of March 3rd, 1903. Abern stated that he had encountered O’Grady and another man named Gloster on his way to see Dr Hayes with his sister, who was seeking medical treatment. An altercation ensued between Abern and O’Grady, resulting in Abern’s stabbing and subsequent hospitalization.

Under cross-examination by Mr Callinan, Abern denied participating in any physical assault on O’Grady, disputing claims made by the defence. The defence insinuated that there may have been a longstanding feud between Abern and O’Grady due to a family connection.

Mrs Carroll, Ahern’s sister, provided further testimony, asserting that she witnessed O’Grady stab her husband and threw a quart of porter at him in self-defence. Another witness, Mr Taylor, confirmed the presence of a knife in O’Grady’s hand and his aggressive behaviour towards Ahern.

Constable Hennessy and Constable Feals also testified, stating that O’Grady had made incriminating statements after his arrest, expressing regret for not killing Ahern and claiming to have been attacked by three individuals.

Despite the presented evidence, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. The jurors were unable to agree on O’Grady’s guilt or innocence. Expressing disappointment, the Lord Chief Baron highlighted the recurring failures of justice in Limerick and the impact they have on maintaining peace in the county.

In a final attempt to prompt a resolution, the jury was asked to reconsider their decision, but they maintained their inability to reach a consensus. Consequently, the jury was discharged, and the trial concluded with yet another failure of justice.

The outcome of the trial reflects the concerning state of criminal justice administration in County Limerick, leaving many sceptical about the fairness and impartiality of the legal system. The case highlights the urgent need for reforms to ensure justice is effectively served and the peace of the county is preserved.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 08 March 1904

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