Tragedy as Cork soldier accidentally killed by wife of three weeks

What was in the news 100 years ago today? Richard Forrest reports in our Echoes of the Past column
Tragedy as Cork soldier accidentally killed by wife of three weeks

Our Echoes of the Past column runs in the Echo and on every Friday.

SERGEANT James Conway, of the 40th Infantry Battalion, was accidentally shot dead yesterday evening at home on Clancy Street, Fermoy, the Echo reported 100 years ago today, on Saturday, May 19, 1923.

Deceased was lying on the bed prior to going on duty and his wife was making the tea for him. She casually took up his revolver which had previously been unloaded. Believing this to be still the case, she pulled the trigger, shooting him in the head.

They were married three weeks ago in Fermoy and very happy. 

Deceased was a native of Baltinglass, aged 23. At the inquest, it was stated by a military officer that Sgt Conway should not have had the revolver in his possession, but it appears he had captured it in Youghal and retained it.

Kerry Blue Club

The establishment of a Kerry Blue Terrier Club in Cork is welcome news indeed to the thousands of lovers of the ‘Blue’.

The involvement of such well-known, all-round sportsmen as Messrs O’Sullivan, Roche, Pulvercraft, Hoare, Mackessy and Lehane is a guarantee of success and their show is certain to be well organised.

Incidentally, top Blue Terrier judge, Thomas White, of Dublin, has many old sporting friends in the south who will remember a great athletic performance of his about 24 years ago.

He was a young bank clerk at Clonakilty when J.C. O’Sullivan wagered that he could not walk to Cork in under eight hours.

The young man had no athletic training, but coming of a sturdy Clare family and being an active follower of dog and gun, he agreed to try.

The distance was 34 miles to the GPO in Cork and the challenge aroused great interest. Young White walked in his ordinary clothes and, keeping up a steady pace, got to Bandon (halfway) at market time accompanied by a noisy cavalcade.

A change of footwear occupied 11 minutes and from there White ticked off the milestones. Going at a great ‘bat’ over the last six ,he reached Winthrop Street in 6 hours, 42 minutes.

Ad in the Echo on May 19, 1923
Ad in the Echo on May 19, 1923

Discoveries and Arrests

An arms dump containing 220 rounds of assorted ammunition, 100 yards of fuse wire, 100 detonators, and a quantity of Irregular literature was discovered at Spillane’s Store on Pine Street, Cork, by Free State troops.

Two Irregulars have been arrested in Fermoy - J. Byrne, of Shanballymore and M. O’Brien, of Skehonagh.

More military equipment plus 87 rounds of ammunition were captured at Frankfield.

Joe Leahy, Crookstown, and Tim Sullivan, Glanmire, both active Irregulars, were captured by troops from Crookstown,.

New District Justice

William Cahill, a solicitor from Charleville, has been appointed District Justice for an area encompassing Mallow, Buttevant, Kilmallock, Rathmore, Killarney, Macroom and Coachford.

He was educated at St Colman’s College, Fermoy and admitted a solicitor in 1917.

In 1918, he acted as Sinn Féin election agent for Commandant Patrick O’Keeffe, the ex-TD. for North Cork, and he practised frequently in the Dáil Courts in Cork.

Street Hurlers Criticised

The question of extending the borough boundary is cropping up again and the city ratepayers are about to be promised wonderful things. Of course, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the elections coming in the autumn. But people are so suspicious nowadays!

Indeed, there are murmurings that many would like to get the city out of maladministration by the Corporation altogether and compel the Government to take it over directly. In the meantime, what about glass and rising rates? Yes glass.

Glass is stated (at least in British commercials) to be in greater demand in Cork than in any other place of similar size in Britain or Ireland. The gas lamps alone provide for this. Breakages run on unchecked, despite Corporation talk and police promises, and the breakers continue to menace the lives of the community. Hurling and football in the streets are as common as walking and people are obliged to make detours to avoid being struck by flying balls.

Windows also bear witness to the intensity of the street contests and the man or woman who is foolish enough to protest risks personal assault as well as ensuring verbal abuse.

Everybody is asking for a remedy, but the courts are never troubled with the street hurler and glass breaker. Children must play, someone will say. By all means, but children of 15, 17 and 20 years should find places other than the streets.

Cork vs. Tipperary

The following represent Cork tomorrow in the Munster Hurling Championship against Tipperary: Ring, Canton, Clarke, Cronin, Dorney, O’Connell (all ‘Barrs); Murphy, Coughlan, Ahern, Leahy, Delea, Scannell (all Rockies); O’Halloran, Lynch (St. Mary’s); O’Keeffe, Kennedy (Carrigtwohill); O’Flynn (Shamrocks); Hurley (Sarsfields); O’Gorman (Midleton); Mullins (Nemo) and O’Keeffe (Castletreasure).

Hazards of Icebergs

Icebergs are forecast to be more numerous in the Atlantic this summer and liners will be obliged to take a more southerly course than usual.

Doubtless this will revive recollection of the Titanic disaster and the earlier collision of the City of Paris with an iceberg.

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