Irish News and Belfast Morning News. Jan 22 1904
SERIES OF SAD CASES:
Yesterday morning, Mr. J.S. Finnigan, deputy coroner, held tow inquests in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Street.
The first inquiry was concerning the death of Frank Corr, aged 54, a labourer, residing at 22 Ashdale Street, which took place suddenly on the 15th inst. Deceased was employed in the Belfast Ropeworks, and it appeared that while at work on the date mentioned he suddenly fell. Mr Heron went to his assistance, and deceased told him that he had taken a weak turn. He was conveyed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, but was dead on arrival. A verdict of death from heart failure was returned.
Mr. A. M' Erlean appeared for the company.
The second inquest was on the body of Edward Dunning, aged 52, a tailor, who was found in Ann Street on the 12th inst. in a fainting fit. He was conveyed to the hospital, where death ensued shortly after admission. Apost-mortem examination conducted by Dr Lowry, house surgeon, showed that death was caused by a rupture of the main blood-vessel, and a verdict to that effect was returned.
THE SUICIDE CASE:
Mr. J.S.Finnigan, deputy coroner, held an inquest at the City Mortuary on Wednesday evening on the body of Henry Rice, who committed suicide on the evening of the 18th inst. by hanging himself in a loft connected with the premises of Joseph W. Irwin, butcher, Woodstock Road. It appeared from the evidence that the deceased, who was a brother-in-law of Mr Irwin and in his employment, had been drinking heavily since Christmas, and on the day of the occurrence had been threatened with dismissal for inattention to work. A verdict of suicide was returned.
The death of Sarah Atkinson, aged 55 years, of 3 Avon Street, on Saturday night last, was also investigated on Wednesday evening. It appeared deceased was addicted to drink, and was last seen alive on Saturday afternoon. When in a state of drunkenness she went into a greengrocer's in Dee Street to purchase a cabbage. In the evening her dead body was found in an entry near by, death being due to asphyxia, caused by her having fallen on her face whilst under the influence of drink. A verdict to this effect was returned.
CLERK'S SUDDEN DEATH:
Last evening Mr J.S.Finnigan, deputy - coroner, held three inquests in the extern department of the Royal Victoria Hospital. The first was touchingly the death of James Toal, who died suddenly on the 15th inst.. Sergeant Magee conducted the inquiry on behalf of the police.
Hugh Toal said he was a brother of deceased. Deceased was a married man, and was 52 years of age. He had been a commission agent, and latterly was a clerk out of employment. Witness last saw him alive some time about 3rd of the month. he then appeared to be in his usual health.
To the Coroner:- Deceased left a wife and three children, all of whom were working.
Henry Nelson said he was in the employment of Mr M'Kenna, Albert Hotel, High Street, and knew the deceased. He had some drink at the Albert Hotel about ten o'clock on the 15th of the present month. He had three drinks, and witness heard him say he was employed at the elections. At eleven o'clock, when closing the premises, witness found him in a gateway leaning against the wall, and, concluding that he was ill, sent for the ambulance, in which he was taken to the hospital . No one had interfered with him, so far as witness knew, and there had been nothing in the nature of the slightest quarrell on the premises.
To the Coroner - If there had been the slightest sign of drink on him at the time witness would not have served him.
The coroner said he was glad to see that Mr. M'Kenna was present It showed that he took an interest in the matter, and removed any misconception or misunderstanding that might possibly be in the minds of some people. Of course, there was not the least allegation against Mr M'Kenna or his servant, and there would be no necessity to examine Mr 'Kenna.
Mr M'Kenna said he telephoned for medical assistance and for the ambulance.
Dr Lowry said on Friday night at 11.20 deceased was admitted, and he was then quite dead. The cause of death was heart failure.
To the Coroner - Taking several drinks upon an empty stomach, coupled with the severity of the weather, would probably have brought on the weakness of the heart.
A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was returned.
A PITIFUL CASE
Subsequently an inquiry was held into the circumstances surrounding the death of Wm. Marsh, which took place on the 13th inst. Sergeant Stoddart conducted on behalf of the police.
Jane Marsh, wife of the deceased, said he lived in 5 Merrion Street. Deceased was a fitter by trade, but was addicted to drink. She had to leave the house with her children on the 9th inst. on account of his conduct. She came back on several mornings,lit a fire in the house, and left some dinner, but did not remain. She afterwards saw the deceased in the hospital.
To the Coroner - Deceased could earn thirty shillings in a week.
Constable Carolan said he was on duty in Leeson Street on the 13th inst. He heard moans coming from the direction of Merrion Street. He went over to the house and asked what was the matter. A voice from inside said '' I am dying ''. Witness pushed in the door and found there was no light nor fire in the place. Deceased was standing at the bottom of the stairs holding to the bannisters. Witness carried him to the hospital which was only a short distance away.
Dr. Blakely said deceased was admitted on the 13th. Death was due to exhaustion, following double pneumonia, accelerated by alcoholism.
The Coroner highly commended the conduct of Constable Carolan, and the jury found a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, recording their appreciation of the conduct of Constable Carolan.
The Coroner commented strongly on the nature of the case, and said he would transmit their appreciation of Constable Carolan's conduct to his superior officer.
DEATH FROM HEART FAILURE
In the Recorders Court an inquest was held on the body of Wm. Screeton, dock labourer, aged 31 years, who died suddenly...(photocopy of this article did not come out!).
FOUND IN THE LAGAN
An inquest was held touching the death of Martha M'Cormick, a middle aged woman. The body of the deceased was discovered between two logs in the River Lagan, near Albert Bridge, on the 15th inst. by a lad named Samuel M'Conville. The husband stated that his wife left 11 North Ann Street, where they lodged, on the 8th inst. He never saw her again alive. She was in the habit of absenting herself from home for long periods, and occasionally took drink. The evidence of Dr Irvine showed that decomposition was so far advanced that he could not state the cause of death, but it was probably drowning. The skin had been eaten off the face evidently by rats.
A verdict of ''Found dead'' was returned.
[ Irish News on 26/01/1904 reported that Martha M'Cormick turned up alive on the Sunday night!]
QUEENS ISLAND FATALITY.
In Templemore Avenue Baths, in the afternoon, an inquest was held on the body of Alex. Paisley, an engineer, who died from the effects of injuries sustained on the 13th inst. through a fall while engaged at work. A verdict of accidental death was returned.