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SCANDAL ON THE RAILS: PASSENGER SUING GREAT SOUTHERN AND WESTERN RAILWAY FOR SLANDER, ASSAULT, AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT |

SCANDAL ON THE RAILS: PASSENGER SUING GREAT SOUTHERN AND WESTERN RAILWAY FOR SLANDER, ASSAULT, AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT

In a dramatic turn of events, a passenger is taking legal action against the Great Southern and Western Railway Co. for alleged misconduct during a routine train journey. The incident unfolded during a trip from Clonmel to Emly, bringing to light accusations of slander, assault, and false imprisonment.

The plaintiff, Mr James Kenny, a blacksmith residing on Davis Road, Clonmel, claims that he became the victim of unwarranted aggression by the railway staff. The legal proceedings were initiated in the King’s Bench Division before the Lord Chief Baron, Mr Justice Madden, and Mr Justice Molony. Mr Phelps, representing the defendant company, sought to have the case remitted for trial to the County Court at Clonmel.

The crux of the matter revolves around a disputed ticket. Mr Kenny alleges that on January 21st, he purchased a third-class return ticket for 4s 9d from Clonmel to Emly via Limerick Junction. Trouble arose when, upon nearing Limerick Junction on the return journey, a ticket checker, identified as ‘Connell,’ entered the compartment.

According to Mr Kenny’s affidavit, he handed over the return half of the ticket to the checker. However, the checker, whose name he believed to be ‘Connell,’ put the ticket in his coat pocket and continued checking other passengers’ tickets. When the checker returned to Mr Kenny, he claimed not to have the ticket. Fellow passengers supported Mr Kenny’s assertion, leading to a search of the checker’s pockets, where the ticket was eventually found.

The situation escalated when the train arrived at Limerick Junction. Allegedly, the checker seized Mr Kenny by the collar and forcibly pulled him onto the platform. Mr Kenny claims that he was then demanded his name and address, subsequently handed over to a man described as a detective-sergeant, and charged with an offence.

The company’s superintendent, Mr Crawford, submitted an affidavit asserting that Mr Kenny had no visible means, implying a potential motive for the company’s actions. Furthermore, Mr Crawford argued that there was a good and valid defence by the company.

During the proceedings, Mr Kinahan, opposing the application to remit on behalf of the plaintiff, argued that the assault was not the primary issue. He contended that the checker made an initial mistake, and everything that transpired afterward was an attempt to cover up that error.

The court, after considering the arguments from both sides, decided to remit the action for trial, indicating that there were valid concerns that needed a thorough examination.

This incident highlights the challenges faced by passengers in their interactions with railway staff and raises questions about the conduct of ticket checkers. The outcome of the trial could potentially impact the practices and policies of the Great Southern and Western Railway Co., shedding light on the rights and protections afforded to passengers in similar situations.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the public will be keenly watching to see how the case develops and whether it prompts changes in the way railway companies handle disputes with their passengers.

Evening Herald (Dublin) – Friday 17 April 1914

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