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An inquest was held on Wednesday before Mr. Coroner Frest, into the circumstances connected with the death of a farmer named Patrick Carney, whose lifeless body was found at twelve o'clock noon at Knockmeal on the public road from Crusheen to Ballinruan, within a short distance of the residence of deceased.
It appears that he left home that morning with a horse and common car for the purpose of bringing back some scallops which he had bought of a man in the neighbourhood and in a couple of hours the dead body was found on the roadside with the head so frightfully smashed as to lead to the belief that death was not the result of accident. The horse and car were found in another road close by, leading in an opposite direction to Doon.
Deceased was a man between sixty-five and seventy years of age, had been twice married, but had no family. It appears he got his nephew married to his second wife's niece a few years ago, and promised to leave them the land after his death. They had been living in the house with the old couple till lately, when the uncle put them out for some unexplained reason, and there was some apprehension that he intended to disinherit them and leave his land and means to another relative.
A young man named Patrick MacNamara, nephew of his wife, has been arrested on suspicion of having perpetrated the murder and still remains in custody.
Dr. William Cullinan made the post mortem examination. He stated that there were serious wounds on the head, the left side of the skull being literally smashed in. The wounds were such as would be inflicted by some blunt instrument.
John Dillon, farmer, deposed that about a quarter past twelve o'clock he was called to the spot by Tierney, and found Carney lying on the road dead; there were four stones on the road with blood and hair upon them; he passed that spot an hour before and saw no stones there; a few minutes before his attention was called to it he saw a man running away through the fields; his coat was thrown over his shoulders loosely, and he had not his arms out in the sleeves; he could not tell who that man was; he did not know him.
Mary Carney, wife of the deceased, stated that he took a sum of ten shillings with him that morning, and no money was found on his possession; he might have had more money about him.
The Coroner having summed up the evidence, the Jury returned an open verdict, "that Patrick Carney was found dead on the road at Knockmeal, on Tuesday, the15th January, from the effects of wounds on the head, inflicted by some person or persons unknown." Patrick MacNamara, the suspected party has been remanded. It is stated some blood stains were found on his clothes.
The Clare Independent, Jan 19th, 1878