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

Blarney Sessions September 1916 Before W.J. O’Hara R.M., in the chair; T. Sheehan, D. Ross and E. Lane. ‘The Rakes’ John F whose address was given as Carrignavar, was charged by Sergeant Cahill with having on the 6th August maliciously damaged two horse rakes, the property of John D, Whitechurch. Mr. Coroner J.J. McCabe, solr., defended. Mary D, wife of John D stated that the defendant had been in their employment. He left on the 2nd August, as he objected to another man who had been engaged to work for them. Defendant returned on the following Sunday, and asked for a few shillings that were due to him. Witness told him there was nothing due to him and defendant then said: “Be sure there will be twice and three times more harm done than a few shillings, and be sure of it, too.” Defendant then left, and the rakes were discovered broken on the following morning. To Coroner, Mr. McCabe – She supposed that one rake had been on the farm for about thirty years. Her husband knew nothing about the present proceedings. It was she who informed the police about the matter. Dl. D, son of the previous witness, gave evidence of a corroborative character. He was of the opinion that seven or eight shillings damage had been done to the rakes. To Mr. Coroner McCabe – He had not seen the rakes for five days previous to the day when they were found damaged. He gave information to the police, and the defendant was arrested. Complainant said that he arrested defendant without any warrant as the offence was a felony. The witness Daniel D made a deposition in the case. In reply to further questions by Mr. Coroner McCabe, witness said that he never told the police that he suspected anyone of having done damage to the rakes. David G stated that the defendant and himself were at present in the employment of Dl. H, Whitechurch. On Sunday morning last he left defendant in bed at half past six. Witness went to bed about eight o’clock that night, and defendant retired about half-past ten. There was an ‘open door’ to the outhouse in which they slept. Complainant gave evidence of arrest. When cautioned, accused said: “No one saw me do it.” In reply to Mr. Coroner McCabe – Witness stated that the defendant seemed surprised when the charge was made against him. Mr. Coroner McCabe said that it was a most extraordinary state of affairs that defendant should be arrested on a charge of that kind, when there was not a shadow of evidence connecting him with the offence. It was an outrageous thing to take away the liberty of a subject for an offence that was not a felony, and he wanted to ascertain from the authorities why such an arrest had been made. Defendant could have been found any moment and he should never have been arrested and especially when there was no evidence against him. He asked the magistrates to dismiss the case. Mr. O’Hare said that the evidence was of a most meagre description and was not sufficient to justify in convicting defendant. No doubt defendant would never have got into trouble only for the threats he used and that was reprehensible conduct on his part. The case would be dismissed on the merits Ellen F, mother of the previous defendant was summoned by Mary D for having threatened her on the same occasion. A dispute arose between the parties in connection with the arrest of John F and complainant alleged that defendant threatened her but defendant having committed such an offence. After hearing evidence of a contradictory character, defendant was bound to the peace for twelve months or, in default, one calendar month’s imprisonment. Deserter from Army Con Kelleher, Margaret Kelleher, Con Jnr Kelleher, Daniel Kelleher and Margaret Kelleher were summoned by Head-constable Kennedy for having on the 28th August, concealed Private Harold Rainsfort while they knew that he was a deserter from the army. Mr. Coroner McCabe represented the defendants. Head-constable Kennedy mentioned that Private Rainsfort, who was the principal witness in the case, was not in attendance. He had been warned by the military authorities to be present, and in his absence he (Head-c0nstable Kennedy) would have to apply for an adjournment. Mr. Sheehan – Have these proceedings been ordered by the military authorities? Head-constable Kennedy replied in the affirmative. Mr. Coroner McCabe said it was rather hard on Mr. Kelleher and his family, who had been present in court throughout the day but there was no use in opposing the adjournment. It was adjourned until the next court. ‘The Dippers’ A number of farmers were summoned at the suit of Sergeant Cahill for having failed to notify the police of their intention to have their sheep dipped. When the case was called, one of the defendants said that the dipping of his sheep was carried out by the County Council, and the officer in charge told him that he need not give any such notice. He got his sheep dipped on 7th August. Mr. Sheehan – When the County Council carry out the dipping, it is not necessary to give notice? Complainant said that that was so but the dipping was not carried out within the Summer dipping period. The County Council, owing to pressure of business or something like that, neglected the matter and their dipping for the Summer period was not carried out until after the period expired. Defendants were bound to give the notice to the police and that notice was then forwarded to the County Council. Mr. Sheehan said he got his sheep dipped by the County Council officer and he did not notify the police as he believed there was no necessity to do so. Complainant – That is so sir, if the dipping was carried out within the Summer period which expires on 31st July. Mr. Lane asked what body had ordered the proceeding to be taken. Complainant said that the proceedings were take on instructions from the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Lane – And that is done through the Council, who themselves have neglected the matter. Mr. O’Hara – ~The whole thing is most unsatisfactory and very hard on the farmers. Mr. O’Hara asked if the Department issued any instructions in connection with the matter. Mr. Ross – There are far too many instructions issued by the Department. A fine of one penny and costs was imposed in each case.

Heritage Week takes place from 21st to 28th August 2016. Blarney and District Historical Society presents an illustrated lecture titled ‘Looking at our Parish Churches’ at 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday 24th August in the Church of Ireland, Church of The Resurrection, Blarney. The speaker is Mr. John Mulcahy. Everybody is welcome. Please note that the Annual General Meeting of the Blarney and District Historical Society takes place on Thursday 8th September 2016 at 8pm at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Blarney Secondary School). Enquiries: Brian Gabriel 087 2153216 Check out the website for Blarney and District Historical Society at