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LIMERICK MAN'S WILL DRAMA UNFOLDS IN KING'S BENCH DIVISION |

LIMERICK MAN’S WILL DRAMA UNFOLDS IN KING’S BENCH DIVISION

In a courtroom spectacle at the King’s Bench Division yesterday, before Mr Justice Madden, the matter of the estate of John Carroll, a late resident of Hruif, Limerick, took centre stage. The proceedings revolved around an action initiated by Annie Raleigh against Kate Whelan, with Mr Cornsn, Iv.G., leading the defence, and Mr Lynch, K.C., representing the plaintiff.

At the heart of the legal contest lay the question of which of two conflicting wills should hold sway over Carroll’s considerable assets. Raleigh sought to uphold a will dated 18th March 1915, in which she stood to benefit significantly. Meanwhile, Whelan contested this in favour of a prior will executed on 10th April 1908, where her entitlements were notably more substantial.

Both wills faced challenges on standard statutory grounds, with doubts raised regarding Carroll’s testamentary capacity and his comprehension and approval of the wills’ contents. Complicating matters further, Daniel Lahine, a crucial witness to the 1908 will, was serving at the front lines in the Army Service Corps, rendering his testimony essential but unavailable for the impending trial scheduled for 3rd November.

Recognising the impracticality of proceeding without Lahine’s testimony, Mr Cornsn argued for a postponement of the trial until further notice. He underscored the necessity of Lahine’s presence to establish the testator’s mental competence at the time of executing the 1908 will.

Mr Lynch, however, representing Raleigh, opposed the motion, highlighting the substantial assets at stake and the urgency of resolving the matter. He contended that delaying the trial could lead to prolonged uncertainty regarding the disposition of Carroll’s estate.

After considering the arguments presented, Mr Justice Madden opted to adjourn the trial indefinitely, appointing Mr Power to oversee matters until the litigation resumed. This decision effectively placed the resolution of Carroll’s estate in limbo until Lahine or alternative evidence could be secured.

The courtroom drama surrounding Carroll’s wills underscores the complexities often involved in probate disputes and the critical role of witness testimony in establishing testamentary capacity. As the legal battle continues to unfold, the fate of Carroll’s estate remains uncertain, awaiting further developments in this intriguing case from the heart of Limerick.

Dublin Daily Express – Wednesday 27 October 1915

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