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Limerick Housekeeper's Tragic End: Inquest Unveils Mystery |

Limerick Housekeeper’s Tragic End: Inquest Unveils Mystery

In a sombre inquiry conducted on Monday, Dr Gregory Hayes, Hospital Coroner for South Limerick, oversaw the inquest at the residence of Captain Ball, Inspector under the Fishery Board, focusing on the untimely demise of housekeeper Mary. The discovery of her lifeless body, found in the sitting room, unfolded a mystery that gripped the community.

The formal identification of the deceased was followed by the testimony of Dr John Holmes, F.R.C.S.I., who, along with Dr McGrath, conducted a post-mortem examination. Their findings revealed two slight contusions on the back of the right hand, a wound over the heart, and an exit wound on the back—indicative of a gunshot. Another wound on the back of the chest added to the perplexing circumstances surrounding Mary’s tragic end.

Upon internal examination, the medical team traced the bullet’s trajectory through the left lung, pericardium, and the heart itself. The shocking revelation pointed towards the cause of death being a combination of shock and haemorrhage. Dr Holmes suggested the possibility of the wound being self-inflicted with the left hand, leaving the gathering in the courtroom in contemplative silence.

Mr Craig, representing the investigation, drew attention to the alignment of the exit wound on the neck, aligning with a hole in the wall of the room. A juror speculated that Mary might have been standing when the fatal shot was fired. Dr McGrath corroborated these findings and highlighted recent abrasions on the back of the right wrist, possibly caused by a wristwatch.

Captain Frederick Hall, Inspector of the Limerick Fishery Board, provided crucial testimony. He described a contentious interaction with the deceased over a revolver, emphasizing that Mary snatched the loaded firearm from the hall table. A struggle ensued, leading to Mary entering the room, closing the door behind her. Moments later, a gunshot rang out, marking the tragic culmination of events.

Captain Hall, visibly distressed, recounted finding Mary inside the room, lying on her back with her feet towards the door. The revolver, now discarded, lay near the wall. Despite his efforts to save her, Mary succumbed to her injuries, leaving Captain Hall in shock and disbelief. He refuted any notion of prior quarrels or discussions of suicide, portraying a relationship with the deceased that was seemingly harmonious.

The niece of the deceased, Ciara Haugh, offered a perspective of normalcy in the household, stating that her aunt and Captain Hall seemed friendly when she returned from school. No indications of discord or strife were evident to her.

After hearing all the evidence, the jury concluded that Mary’s death resulted from haemorrhage caused by a bullet wound through the heart. However, the circumstances surrounding how the wound had been inflicted remained shrouded in uncertainty. The tragic event has left the community in mourning, grappling with the enigma of a life cut short in such a perplexing manner.

As the investigation continues, the lingering questions surrounding Mary’s untimely demise will undoubtedly cast a shadow over Limerick, leaving its residents seeking answers to a mystery that has shaken their peaceful community.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal – Saturday 02 March 1912

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