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Tragic Incident Unfolds in Limerick as Son Faces Trial for Father's Death |

Tragic Incident Unfolds in Limerick as Son Faces Trial for Father’s Death

Limerick, Saturday – A sombre atmosphere filled the City Police Court as Stephen Bourke of Arthur’s Quay was charged with the alleged murder of his father, Patrick Bourke, on September 24, 1912. The proceedings unfolded in a special court session presided over by the Mayor and Mr P. J. Kelly, R.M.

The courtroom heard harrowing details from Ambrose Clery, a witness from Arthur’s Quay. Clery recounted the events of that fateful night when he observed an altercation between the accused and his father. According to Clery, Stephen Bourke pursued his father, delivering around thirteen blows to Patrick Bourke’s sides and forehead with what was described as a bar. The elder Bourke was then reportedly thrown over a wall into Reynold’s area.

In a distressing revelation, Clery disclosed that Stephen Bourke, accompanied by James Flynn, descended into the area to inspect the aftermath. The accused allegedly asked a bystander, identified as Shanny, to check if Patrick Bourke’s heart was still beating. Shanny confirmed it was, prompting Stephen Bourke to arrange for his father’s transportation to the hospital.

Dr John Holmes (junior), Resident Medical Surgeon at Barrington’s Hospital, provided critical medical insights during the proceedings. He outlined the severe injuries sustained by Patrick Bourke, including an extensive skull fracture and brain lacerations, ultimately leading to his demise on September 26. Dr Holmes suggested that the injuries were consistent with those inflicted by an iron bar.

During cross-examination, Mr H. YB. Moran, the solicitor representing the accused, sought to clarify certain points raised by witnesses. However, the evidence presented at the court mirrored statements made during the initial inquest. Dr Holmes reiterated that the injuries causing death were likely a result of blunt force trauma, possibly from an iron bar.

In a pivotal moment, Mr Moran appealed for Stephen Bourke to be granted bail, proposing a reduction of the charge to manslaughter. The Mayor expressed sympathy toward the application, indicating a favourable stance. However, District Inspector Craig voiced his reservations, leading to a deliberation by Mr Kelly.

After careful consideration, Mr Kelly ultimately denied the bail application, opting to proceed with the charge of murder against Stephen Bourke. The accused will now face trial at the next Assizes.

The courtroom drama has left the community in shock, with residents grappling to comprehend the tragic turn of events. As the legal proceedings unfold, the city of Limerick grapples with the aftermath of a family tragedy that has cast a dark shadow over the community.

Dublin Daily Express – Monday 07 October 1912

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