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Limerick Murder Charge Rocks Community |

Limerick Murder Charge Rocks Community

At eleven o’clock this morning, the courtroom of Mr Justice Madden in Connaught saw the commencement of a significant legal affair, evoking sombre reflections on the state of law and order in the region. The proceedings of the Connaught Winter Assizes in Limerick opened with a weighty air as Mr Justice Madden addressed the Grand Jury, indicating that bills would be presented for their consideration, touching upon eleven cases of varying gravity. Among these cases, one stood out for its severity—a charge of wilful murder levelled against a man identified as Hewson, accused in connection with the tragic demise of a woman named Ms. Ellen Costelloe.

Furthermore, the court’s attention was drawn to two other cases involving loss of human life. Notably, one case involved a constable named John J. Benwick from County Galway. This particular incident was described as “serious” by Mr Justice Madden. It pertained to the untimely death of a young boy named Johnson, allegedly resulting from the discharge of a revolver lawfully in possession of the accused while performing his duties. While manslaughter charges were proposed against Constable Benwick, the Crown contended that his use of the revolver constituted culpable and criminal negligence.

Reflecting on the broader legal landscape, Mr Justice Madden remarked upon the remarkable decrease in the number of cases specially reported, particularly in comparison to the preceding Winter Assizes. He observed a notable diminution across various counties, including Limerick, underscoring the significance of this trend. While fluctuations in statistical data are not uncommon, the observed decrease surpassed ordinary expectations. In contrast to previous assessments, where fluctuations often balanced out, this decline signified a substantial shift.

Analyzing the data further, Mr Justice Madden highlighted a net decrease of thirty-three cases across the Winter Assizes in the represented counties. This reduction, he noted, constituted a significant percentage of the total cases, prompting congratulations to the Grand Jury for their efforts in navigating these legal complexities.

The gravity of the situation was palpable in the courtroom as the legal proceedings unfolded. Families affected by these tragic incidents awaited justice, while the broader community grappled with the implications of these charges. The accused individuals, Hewson and Constable Benwick, stood at the centre of attention, their fates now in the hands of the judicial system.

Outside the confines of the courtroom, whispers of concern rippled through the community. The spectre of violence, particularly instances as grave as murder and manslaughter, cast a shadow over the otherwise tranquil landscape of Connaught. Residents expressed a collective desire for closure and resolution, hoping that justice would be served swiftly and fairly.

In response to the unfolding events, local authorities reiterated their commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the safety and security of all residents. Efforts to address underlying issues contributing to such incidents were redoubled, with a focus on community engagement and proactive measures to prevent future tragedies.

As the legal proceedings continued, the eyes of Connaught remained fixed on the courtroom, awaiting the outcome of these pivotal cases. While the path to justice may be fraught with challenges, the resolve of the community remained steadfast, united in their pursuit of truth and accountability.

Dublin Daily Express – Thursday 02 December 1915

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