March 9th – 15th 1917

Mr Coroner R. Rice, solr., held an inquest at the Military Hospital, Fermoy, into the circumstances of the death of Sgt. George Sharpe, 2-5th Scottish Rifles, who died at the Old Barracks, Fermoy on the 7th inst. Mr J. Black was foreman of the jury. Deceased had been 40 years soldiering and was 56 years of age. He was a native of Watford where his wife and family were. Several soldiers testified that he had complained of shortness of breath in the lead up to his death. The coroner summed up the evidence and the jury found that Sharpe had died of heart failure on retiring to his bedroom on the date in question.

At Waterford Assizes three young men named Patrick Stapleton, Charles McCarthy and Maurice Flynn, were charged with indecently assaulting a young girl at Lismore and on a second count with common assault. Mr E. A. Swayne (instructed by Mr J.F. Williams, solr., Dungarvan) appeared for the prisoners. The accused were each sentenced to nine months imprisonment with hard labour.

News of the death on active service in France of Lieut. J.R. Colfer cast quite a gloom over Mitchelstown, where he was well known and universally accepted. When the war broke out he was a popular and courteous official of the Munster and Leinster Bank, Mitchelstown but his courageous spirit soon responded to the call “to arms” and he joined the cadet Corps of the 7th Leinsters. He went to the Western Front in 1915. Lieut. Colfer was up to the time he joined the army, captain of the local corps of the National Volunteers. In November 1916, he was in Ireland on leave and had paid Mitchelstown a visit.

At a largely attended meeting of labourers at Kilfinane, on the proposition of Mr B. Flynn, seconded by Mr T. O’Brien, a resolution was passed condemning the action of the Finance Committee of the Limerick County Council in cutting down the labourers wages and demanding a substantial increase on the wages paid from the 1st November, 1916 to 1st March, 1917.

At a special Court at Mitchelstown, three young men, David Molan, Michael Molan and Maurice O’Brien, were charged by Head Constable Shelly with unlawfully assembling at the house of John Ahern, Garryourla and assaulting John Aherne and his mother, Margaret Aherne, thereby committing an offence under the ‘Whiteboy Act’. Mr W.J. Skinner, solr., appeared for the defendant. John Aherne was a witness for the crown in a recent case at Limerick Assizes and it was alleged that the offence was due to the evidence he gave on that occasion. Depositions were made by John Aherne, Margaret Aherne and Head Constable Shelley and the accused were remanded to the next Petty Sessions at Mitchelstown. Michael Molan was remanded without bail and the other two accused were remanded on bail of £10 each and two sureties of £5 each.