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Dispute at Limerick Railway Station Ends in Court |

Dispute at Limerick Railway Station Ends in Court

Limerick – A legal battle concluded yesterday at the courthouse, with John McNamara, a former Royal Irish Constabulary pensioner residing in Limerick. McNamara sought £500 in damages from George Wilson, the manager of the goods department at the Great Southern and Western Railway Company’s Limerick station. The trial centred on an alleged assault that occurred during the Irish railways’ strike in September of last year.

McNamara, who had been employed as a special constable by the railway company during the strike, claimed that Wilson assaulted him on October 1st, 1911. The plaintiff contended that he was unjustly pushed by Wilson while on duty at the station, leading to injuries and shock.

The defence, led by Sergeant Moriarty, argued that McNamara was obliged to follow proper orders while on duty and had refused to leave the premises when instructed by Wilson. According to Wilson’s testimony, he used only necessary force to remove McNamara after the latter declined to obey the directive to vacate the station.

The court heard from witnesses, including Head Constable Healy from the Royal Irish Constabulary, who observed the incident. Healy described a scuffle at the station door and stated that McNamara appeared to be suffering from shock after the encounter.

Sergeant Michael Doran of the R.I.C. testified that he saw Wilson pushing McNamara through the doorway, causing him to fall on the steps. Another constable, Collins, supported the claim that Wilson had ordered McNamara to leave, citing dismissal as the reason.

For the defence, Railway Inspector O’Dwyer presented a different perspective. He mentioned an incident involving a lady and her trunk, where McNamara refused to assist, leading to a confrontation. O’Dwyer asserted that Wilson’s actions were justified, as McNamara had defied orders and acted inappropriately.

During cross-examination, it was revealed that Wilson accused McNamara of disgraceful conduct and threatened to report him to the Inspector. However, witnesses maintained that McNamara’s behaviour was defiant and unruly, resembling that of a madman.

Inspector Cullinan, decorated with the Albert Medal for saving a life during his 26 years of service with the Railway, attested that Wilson used no unnecessary violence when removing McNamara from the premises.

The trial reached an impasse as the jury was unable to agree on a verdict, resulting in their discharge. The case highlights the tensions surrounding the railway strike in Limerick and the subsequent disputes that arose among those involved in maintaining order during the tumultuous period. The court’s inability to reach a unanimous decision leaves lingering questions about the events that transpired at the Limerick Railway Station on that fateful day.

Dublin Daily Express – Thursday 15 February 1912

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