Sad Fatality Near Millstreet


Read the inquest and more below:


An occurrence of a very regrettable nature took place near Millstreet. Miss Ciss O’Callaghan, the eldest daughter of Mr.Frank J. O’Callaghan, of Moher, Derrinagree, was driving home from town with a young brother. When they arrived at Drishane, three of the demese hands were engaged felling a large tree, which unfortunately collapsed on the road as Miss O’Callaghan was driving by. Young Mr O’Callaghan fortunately escaped unhurt, but the young lady sustained injuries, from which she suvvumed in a few hours. The Very Rev. Canon J.Casey was on the scene promptly, and administered the rites of the Church. Dr. Lehane also promptly arrived on the scene, but the patient was past any effective aid. No occurrence in this neighbourhood for many years has occasioned so widespread and painful feelings of regret for the deceased young lady was possessed  of a goodness of disposition and charm of manner that endeared her to young and old. The deepest sympathy is felt for her father and the menber of her gamily, who are well know and highly respected in the locality.




Mr Coroner James Byrne, J.P., held an inquest at
the Courthouse, Millstreet, on Monday on
Norah O’Callaghan, aged about 21 years, who
died from injuries caused by the falling of a
tree at Drishane, on Friday, the 27th inst. Mr
J.S. O’Connor assisted the Coroner in the
taking of the depositions.

Mr J.J. Lenehan, solr., Kanturk, represen-
ted the next of kin of the deceased lady, and
Mr.T.Lucey, LLB, solr, Macroom, repre-
sented the Drishane Nuns, on whose lands the
tree was being felled.
Mr Francis O’Callaghan, brother of the de-
ceased, having given evidence of identification,
said that on the 27th ult he was in Millstreet
with the deceased, and left for home about
3.30 o’clock, driving in a jennet and cart.
When they got near Drishane lower lodge he
saw a boy upon the ditch; he also saw three
men on the ditch cutting a tree. The boy was
young Mahony of Millstreet; one of the men
was John Cronin, foreman at Drishane Con-
vent. We did not know the others. When
we got near where the men were cutting the
tree young Mahony put up his hand to stop
witness, who stopped. One of the men, John
Cronin, invited witness to come on; he he signed
with his hand. Witness did not notice what
condition the tree was in at the time. He
struck the jennet. As he was just getting
out, and thought he was safe, the tree came
down and struck his sister, who was kneeling
in the centre of the car. The first thing he
saw after the tree falling was one of the men
picking his sister up off the road. He did not
see the tree strike her; the jennet continued
going on, and he did not notice the portion
of the tree strike the car where his sister had
been kneeling. His sister was unconscious
after the accidentl there was blood on her face.
She was taken into a lodge that was near, and
the doctor was sent for. She was afterwards
taken to the Workhouse infirmary, and she
died there.
To Mr.Lucey- Three men were cutting the
tree. He did not stop when Mahony warned
him. John Cronin beckoned his hand. He
did not say anything to witness, who took the
sign to go forward. He did not hear anybody
speak to him as hw was going. None of the
branches of the tree struck the cart.
To Mr.Lenehan- The accident occurred near
the entrance to the graveyard. Young Ma-
hony was about 22 yards away from where the tree
fell. The jennet ran away when the tree fell,
and the witness jumped from the car. The two
mudguards of the car were crushed by the
falling tree.
To Mr Lucey- the jennet did not bolt
until the tree struck the car. He had not
jumped from the car before the tree struck it.
Denis O’Mahony, labourer, residing at
Millstreet, deposed that he was passing at
Drishane on that evening and saw a tree there
being cut by John Cronin, Timothy Sweeney,
and Cornelius Riordan. The tree was on the
left-hand side going from Millstreet. About
4.30 that evening Francis O’Callaghan and
his sister, Norah O’Callaghan, the deceased
came from Millstreet direction in a jennet
and cart. Witness was standing on the road
about 10 or 11 yards from where the men
were curring the tree. When the jennet and
cart was about 30 yards from where the tree
was being cut John Cronin put up his hand
and roared for them to stop. They did
stop. They remained stationary about a
minute, and then drove on again. Nobody
signed to them or spoke to them to go on
again. None of the men could have signed or
spoken to them to go on without witness see-
ing or hearing them. At this time the men
had ceased cutting the tree. The tree was
about half ways cut through. There was no
rope fastened to the tree to prevent it falling.
There was a high wind blowing at the time.
The three men, John Cronin, Timothy Swee-
ney, and Cornelius Riordan, shouted at
Francis O’Callaghan to hurry on when they
were going under the tree. Francis O’Cal-
laghan jumped out of the cart. The jennet
was galloping, and youn O’Callaghan went
to the fennet’s head; the jennet stopped. At
this time the jennet and cart were right under
the limb of the tree. The tree then fell
down. Norah O’Callaghan was kneeling in
the cart more to the back. The limb of the
tree struck Norah O’Callaghan on the head or
shoulders. The weight of the tree balanced
the car back, and she fell out on the road.
The the jennet then ran off. The three men who
were curring the tree then ran and picked
Miss O’Callaghan up. She was then bleeding
from the nose and mouth. She was then
taken into the lodge house by the three men.
To Mr.Lucey, solicitor – It was not true that
he gave Mr.O’Callaghan the signal to stop.
Witness’s back was turned to him. He was
not standing on the fence. He heard no con-
versation between Mr O’Callaghan and his sis-
ter. It was immediately afterwards the men
shouted that the jennet stopped. Up to the
time that Mr. O’Callaghan caught the jennet
the tree had not struck the cart, and he actu-
ally had a hold of the jennet by the head when
the tree struck the cart. The jennet then bolted.
John Cronin having been cautioned as to the in-
criminating himself, deposed that he saw
Francis O’Callaghan and his sister Norah com-
ing from Millstreet direction in a jennet
and cart. When they came to about 20 or 30
yards of him he roared at them to stop. They
were then going at an un ordinary trot. They
did stop. Then then came along again after
having stopped about a minute. No person
signed to them to come along so far as witness
could see. The boy was sitting on the left-
hand side of the car in the front with his legs
out. The deceased was sitting in the centre
of the car behind the boy. When they came
almost under the tree the three men shouted
to them to hurry on. When the care came on
to the tree Francis O’Callaghan hopped out
and ran to the jennet’s head. As Francis went
to the jennet’s head the tree fell. The weight
weight of the limb of thr tree caused the car to heel,
and Norah O’Callaghan was thrown on the
road. She was lying on her face and hands.
She was bleeding from one sode of her face.
Con Riordan took her to the lodge and witness
went to Drishane for the priest and doctor. At
the time the tree fell the jennet ran away.
Francis O’Callaghan came back to witness and
asked was she hurt. He intended the tree to
fall inside the ditch and not on the road at all.
In order to do this they cur it on the side next
to the road, and on the opposite side they left
a hold on it. In his experience it was not unusual
to attach ropes to a tree except it would be
hanging over a house, and he did not attach
any rope to this tree. When they made the
cut in the tree on the roadside they drove in
wedges to drive it to the opposite side.
The storm drove the tree across the road in
spite of them. This tree before thy commenced
to cut it was leaning with the ditch.
To Mr Lucey, solicitor- He warned Francis O’Callaghan
to stop.
Dr. C.J. Lenahan deposed to being called
to the deceased, whom he found unconscious
and bleeding from the car. After treating her
he accompanied her to the Millstreet Union
Hospital. She got all possible attention there,
but succumbed about 7:30 pm. The cause of
death was fracture to the base of the skull. It
could have been caused by a faling tree strik-
ing he on the head.
Mr. J.J.Lenehan, solicitor, having addressed
the Coroner and jury on behalf of the nest-of-
Mr. T.Lucey, solicitor, said he was instruct-
ed on behalf of the Drishane community to offer
to Mr.O’Callaghan and his family the ex-
pression of their deep and sincere condolence
in their great sorrow. They were inexpremibly
pained that so sad an accident should occur
in their property.
The coroner having reviewed the evidence,
the jury brought in the following verdict :-
“We find that the deceased, Norah O’Cal-
aghan, died at the Millstreet Workhouse In-
firmary on the 27th inst, from a fracture of the
base of the skull, caused by the falling of a
tree on the public road at Drishane on that
date. We unanumously believe that sufficient
precautions were not taken on that occasion to
safeguard the public. We also tender our deep-
est sympathy to the relatives of the deceased
young lady.”

– from the Cork Examiner 2nd November 1916


Mr and MRS F.J. O’Callaghan and
family, Moher, Millstreet beg to offer their
sincere and grateful thanks to the many kind
friends who so thoughtgully sent them messages
of sympathy on the death of their daughter,
and they hope that their friends will be kind
enough to accept this acknowledegment, as it
would be impossible to reply to each individually.

– Cork Examiner, 14th November 1916


Francis O’Callaghan of Moher (son of Joseph O’Callaghan, a farmer, deceased), and Mary O’Callaghan of Silver Stream, Rockchapel (daughter of John O’Callaghan, a farmer, deceased), were married in the Catholic Chapel of The Rock, Rockchapel, on November 17th 1888.

They had of 17 children in the family, of whom 12 survived.

Hanora (Nora) O’Callaghan was born on October 8th 1895 at Moher.

Francis who was driving the car was born on October 23rd 1899, meaning he have been about 17 at the time of the accident.

In the 1901 census they have 7 children living at home (from 7 to 0 yrs), and in the 1911 census 10 of those children were living at home (from 18 to 4 yrs).

She died on October 27th 1916.
The inquest (above) happened on October 30th.

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