News from Times Past with Brian Gabriel, Blarney & District Historical Society

Blarney Petty Sessions September 16th 1915 A ‘Noble and Glorious Death’ in Gallipoli (Before Messrs. Thomas Andrews, presiding, H. Pratt, J.F. Corkeran) Captain Henry Desmond O’Hara D.S.O., 1st Batt. Royal Dublin Fusiliers, only son of Mr. W. J. O’Hara, R.M., Oriel House, Ballincollig, Co. Cork was wounded in action on August 12th 1915 at the Dardanelles, dying age 23 on 29/08/1915 and is buried at Gibraltar. Mr. W.J. O’Hara was a regular magistrate for the Blarney Sessions. The Chairman said that before commencing the ordinary business of the court, the magistrates wished to express their deep sense of sorrow for the loss sustained by Mr. O’Hara, their respected resident magistrate, on the death of his only son, Captain O’Hara. They all felt very much indeed for Mr. O’Hara, and the magistrates were anxious to adjourn the court until the next day, but they did not wish to inconvenience those who had come there on business. Under the circumstances the magistrates were sure that Mr. O’Hara would not wish that the court should be adjourned, so they would pass a resolution of sympathy, which their clerk (Mr. O’Neill) would be good enough to forward to Mr. O’Hara. He accordingly proposed that a vote of condolence be conveyed to Mr. O’Hara on the great loss he had sustained. Mr. Pratt seconded the motion, and Mr. Corkeran associated himself with the resolution of sympathy. Mr. Arthur Julian, solr., as the senior practitioner of his profession present, supported the resolution, which had been so clearly and excellently put by their chairman. He also felt that if Mr. O’Hara could be consulted, he would say that they had accurately construed his wishes, that his affliction should not in any way obstruct or impede the public business. They all wished to express to him their sympathy in his irreparable affliction. It was idle to attempt to convey by mere words a sense of the bereavement which Mr. O’Hara had suffered. The only consolation he had was that his only son had fallen doing what he must feel proud of. He had fallen in the noble and heroic defence of his country and the freedom of his country-men. He had fallen on the field of battle, the noblest way of leaving this earthly existence. He, (Mr. Julian) was sure that Mr. O’Hara would feel that it was not owing to any want of sympathy that they did not adjourn the court. Mr. J.F. O’Riordan, solr., said he desired to be associated with the vote of condolence. He agreed with all that Mr. Julian had said on the terrible affliction which had befallen their respected resident magistrate. He, (Mr. O’Riordan) had always admired his high sense of rectitude and the way he held the scales of justice fairly between the Crown and the accused in all cases. Mr. O’Hara had always treated him with courtesy and kindness and he had come to regard him as being a real friend of the people. His son had died a noble death – a hero’s death – of which any father would be justly proud. He was fighting in the cause of justice, liberty and freedom, and it must be a source of great consolation to Mr. O’Hara to know that his son had died a noble and glorious death and that he also had the sympathy of friends far and near. Mr. W.F. O’Connor, solr., also desired to be associated with the vote of sympathy to Mr. O’Hara. He was sure he would find great consolation in the fact that his son had died a glorious death. District Inspector Studdart, on behalf of the constabulary, expressed his sorrow at the loss sustained by Mr. O’Hara. The vote of condolence was then passed in silence. Aggression at Blarney Station Michael and Denis M, Knocknalyre, summoned Daniel O’R and John D, both of Blarney, for assault in the vicinity of Blarney Railway Station on Sunday 5th September 1915. Daniel O’R had cross-summonses against the Ms for assault. Mr A. Julian, solr., appeared for the Ms and Mr. W.F. O’Connor, solr., for O’R and D. The complainant’s case was that on Sunday evening Michael M and Daniel O’R travelled from St. Ann’s to Blarney on the same train, and while coming out some talk took place, and M said he was not afraid of any Blarney man. He did not see O’R in the carriage but when he stepped out on the platform, O’R struck him on the head from behind and knocked him down. A crowd collected around and kicked him. He crawled on his hands and knees out of the crowd, to his brother, who had been engaged in the wood all day. The latter when seeing the row, went to his assistance and got kicked about. They then went to the police barrack and were accompanied by the police out of the village. They were attacked on the way home. The cause of the hostility towards the complainants was some jealousy about a hurling match. Denis M, who described himself as a gamekeeper to the Muskerry Hunt said when he got to the railway station, he saw a crowd of girls and others and they were shouting, “Blarney is wanted.” He saw his brother on the ground and the crowd kicking him. He went to his brother’s assistance and D struck him on the head and eyes and he was knocked. O’R kicked him while on the ground, knocking out one tooth and half of another. The defendant’s case was that Michael M got into the railway carriage at St. Ann’s and adopted a most aggressive attitude and threw off his coat offering to fight and beat anyone from Blarney. His conduct was so bad that two girls threatened to get out of the carriage and the guard came in and told M that if he did not conduct himself, he would have to get out. He admitted that M’s conduct irritated O’R and when the two got out of the train at Blarney, a row took place between them but it was denied that M was kicked. They were in grips and fell together. Then M got up and went away. The whole thing lasted about two minutes. Mary Ingerton said she travelled out in the train from Cork. . M came into the carriage and caught his coat as if to pull it off, and asked for the best man in Blarney. When she saw that some fighting was likely to take place she wanted to jump out. Nora O’Reilly gave similar evidence. The Chairman said the magistrates had come to the conclusion that Daniel O’R was the aggressor at the railway station when he could have gone home and for the assault on Michael M, he would be fined 40s. and for the assault on Denis M, 20s. and costs with the usual alternatives. They dismissed the other summonses. The above reports appeared in the Cork Examiner 17th September 1915. 4 Years Cottage Rent Arrears A number of summonses were heard at the suit of the Cork District Council against tenants of labourers’ cottages for arrears of rent. Decrees to possession were granted in all the three cases listed. In the case of Mary B, Loughane, Blarney, the sum due amounted to £9. Mr. O’Hara thought it was careless to allow tenants to fall into arrears in this way. This was great arrears. Mr. A. Blake, solr., who appeared for the Council said it was undoubtedly a bad precedent. Mr. O’Hara said it is very hard on the unfortunate ratepayers to be at the loss of this £9. Mr. Blake: It is, sir. Mr. O’Hara said he didn’t know how those who managed these things justified their conduct in allowing these enormous arrears accumulate like this. Mr. Richardson, collector, said this was one of the bad cases. Mr. O’Hara – There is nearly four years rent due. Mr. Richardson said that the tenant was very poor and was in hospital at present.

The above report appeared in the Cork Examiner of 4th August 1911. The Blarney & District Historical Society programme of events for 2015/16 begins on Thursday 8th October at 8pm in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál with an illustrated lecture titled, ‘The Heritage Churches of County Cork’. The speaker is Mr. Daniel Noonan, Archaeological Consultant. On Thursday 5th November at 8pm in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál the illustrated lecture is titled ‘The Life and Times of Frank Busteed – Vice Commandant 6th Batt. Cork No 1 Brigade I.R.A.’. The speaker is Grandson of Frank Busteed, Mr. Brian O’Donoghue. All are welcome to both lectures. Enquiries to Brian Gabriel 087 2153216 or

The Society also wishes to thank all those who attended, and supported, the launch at the Blarney Castle Hotel of ‘Old Blarney’ Journal Issue No. 10. It is greatly appreciated. The Society having been inaugurated in July 1985, this Journal is a 30th Anniversary Issue of 160 pages, many in colour, containing eleven interesting articles relating to Blarney and District. It is good value at €15 and is available in Blarney Filling Station (Centra), SuperValu Blarney, The Corner Shop, Blarney Castle Shop, Blarney Post Office, O’Leary’s Centra Tower, Cloghroe Stores, Roche’s Daybreak, Whitechurch. It makes a perfect gift for both family and friends, especially those living abroad at Christmas-time. Back numbers 1 – 9 ‘Old Blarney’ Journals and 1 – 4 ‘Old Blarney’ Photo-journals are available at out monthly lectures or by contacting Brian Gabriel 087 2153216 or