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Alleged False Declaration Leads to Court Proceedings |

Alleged False Declaration Leads to Court Proceedings

In a recent legal proceeding before Mr Swifle at the Southern Police Court, Mrs. Sarah Dunne, a widow residing in South Earl Street, faced charges of attempting to obtain a pension allowance through falsified documentation. The case unfolded against the backdrop of a tragic story involving her deceased husband, Peter Dunne, a soldier who was reported missing.

The prosecution, led by Mr Robertson, representing the military authorities, outlined the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Dunne’s alleged attempt to secure a pension allowance. While evidence pertaining to the case was lost during the recent rebellion at Limerick Barracks, it was revealed that Mrs. Dunne had filed a statutory declaration claiming entitlement to a pension allowance based on the assertion that she had two children.

Testimony provided by Captain Coonty, Colonel in charge of Infantry Records, confirmed the disappearance of Peter Dunne since May 1916. Despite his absence, Mrs. Dunne purportedly received pension payments intended for her deceased husband, under the guise of caring for two children. However, it emerged during the investigation that one of the children had passed away several years prior.

Mrs. Dunne’s defence asserted that her actions were prompted by misinformation from her late husband, who had conveyed erroneous details about their entitlements. Nevertheless, she was charged with attempting to defraud the authorities.

In a separate legal matter, a court case in the King’s Bench Division (Probate) focused on the estate of Mary Phair, deceased, and her brother, Robert Phair, who had administered her estate. Complications arose when it was discovered that Robert Phair’s three sons, previously believed to be deceased, were alive but of unsound mind and residing in institutions in San Francisco.

Patrick Joseph O’Shea sought to have the administration of Mary Phair’s estate recalled and granted to him, citing the need for a comprehensive resolution of the estate’s affairs. Consent was granted, and Dr Hennessey, the previous administrator, agreed to relinquish possession of the assets and provide accounts of his administration.

Ultimately, both legal proceedings underscored the complexities and challenges involved in matters of estate administration and pension entitlements, highlighting the importance of clarity, transparency, and adherence to legal protocols in such matters.

Dublin Daily Express – Friday 29 September 1916

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