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Limerick Court Resumes Hearings on Alleged Wilful Burning Incident |

Limerick Court Resumes Hearings on Alleged Wilful Burning Incident

In a continuation of proceedings at the Co. Crown Court in Limerick, Mr Justice Kenny, alongside High Sheriff Dr McDonnell, J.P., delved into the criminal business of the Connaught Winter Assizes. The focus today centred on the case of Michael Gill, who stands accused of maliciously setting fire to a crop of hay on September 30th, the property of Michael Daly.

Prosecutors, Messrs. J. W. Hynes and H. McDermott, representing the county Crown solicitors, presented the case against Gill. The defendant found legal representation in Mr R. O. Leonard, instructed by Mr John A. Potter, solicitor from Carrick-on-Shannon. Mr Hynes, presenting the Crown’s case, outlined the background of the dispute over two fields originally owned by the late Mr Russell, who passed away in 1910.

The court learned that Mr French took charge of managing the fields after Mr Russell’s death and continued to do so. However, in 1911, opposition surfaced, persisting into the following year. Local discontent emerged from objections to the conacre meadow, particularly as portions of the fields were leased to individuals named Neary Daly. The prosecution alleged that the incident in question occurred against this backdrop.

The court heard testimony from a witness, Conned, who detailed an attempt to set fire to hay cocks on Daly’s plot late on the night of September 30th. The act was thwarted by Constable Hawley, who was on watch and managed to extinguish the fire in one of the haycocks. Subsequently, the constables arrested Michael Gill in proximity to the scene.

Constable Michael McDonagh, stationed at Hillstreet, provided further evidence, corroborating the sequence of events outlined by the prosecution. Constable Crowley, who was involved in the arrest, testified that he believed the accused was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Adding a layer of complexity to the case, Mr Robert L. French, a witness, disclosed that in 1910, he attempted to lease acres of the property but faced challenges, ultimately unable to secure any agreements.

The proceedings underscored the tensions surrounding land use and tenancy in the region, with implications for the broader agricultural community. As the court resumes its hearings, residents and legal observers keenly anticipate further developments in the case of Michael Gill, reflecting the intricate dynamics of rural life in Limerick.

Dublin Daily Express – Saturday 07 December 1912

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