A Railway Mystery, 1905

From the Irish Independent, 2 June 1905:

“Mr John D Gerrard, BA BL, while travelling by the 6.45 p.m. train from Bray to Dublin on Wednesday evening was the victim of an accident which is still shrouded in mystery.

Shortly after reaching Dundrum, Mr Gerrard leaned out the carriage window. Suddenly he received a heavy blow on the head, and fell back into the compartment, where he lay in a semi-conscious condition until discovered at Dundrum. Such is the story told by Mr Gerrard himself on recovering consciousness.

As the bridges, signal and other poles are well away from the rolling stock, it is difficult to surmise what struck Mr Gerrard. The theory so far advanced is that some object fell from the top of one of the carriages in front of the one in which Mr Gerrard was travelling.

Mr Gerrard, who sustained a scalp wound three inches long, necessitating a number of stitches, is (though suffering from concussion of the brain) making satisfactory progress at Charlemont Street private hospital.”

It sounds like Mr Gerrard was travelling on the old Harcourt Street line. Happily, he survived the accident and went on to become a Resident Magistrate.

Did he need a bit of fresh air after a long day in court or was he just having a sneaky smoke out the window? Or was his injury some sort of altercation which he wished to keep private? Sherlock Holmes would have sorted this one out for sure!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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