Journal Volume 6 2010

A Greystones Miscellany  (continued/3)

The Mysterious Death of Patrick Doyle - 1908

Engine driver Christopher Everard testified that he left Dublin at 5.10 p.m. and arrived in Greystones at 5.57 p.m. on the evening in question and did not observe anything unusual on the ground. When he returned to Bray that night at 8.05 p.m. he was asked by the night man there to examine his locomotive which he did but did not find any blood on it. In reply to a number of questions Everard said that the locomotive had passed twice over the spot where the body was found and that nothing unusual was experienced by either himself or his stoker.

  Beggs: Would the locomotive receive a jolt if it passed over a body?’
  Everard: ‘I don’t know, for I never went over a body as far as I know.’

The next witness called was Thomas Finnegan, driver of the mail train to Wexford who said that coming into Greystones he noticed nothing unusual about the (running of the) engine. When he reached Wicklow, he heard about the accident (in Greystones) and then examined the locomotive but found no marks of blood on it. When he reached Wexford he carried a more detailed examination of the locomotive and discovered a splash of blood on one of the bogie wheels on the locomotive’s left hand side. He found no trace of blood on any other part of the locomotive or on the carriages.

  D.I. Triscott: 'Did you hear anyone shout (i.e. cry out) at Greystones?’
  Finnegan: No. If we ran over the man there would sure to be blood on the sand pipe. Of course the blood we found might have been caused by our running over the spot (where he lay).’

A number of witnesses then gave accounts of the last sightings of the deceased including James Byrne, manager of the Railway Hotel, who said that he saw the deceased in the front bar between 4.30 p.m. and five o’clock on that Monday evening. He was served a drink but was quiet sober. He had a drink, went to the back and then returned to the bar and subsequently left without taking any more drink. That was the last time he saw him.

  Beggs: ‘Was anyone was in his company at that time?’
  Byrne: No!’
  Beggs: There was no treating?’
  Byrne: No. He was in his own company. He got into conversation with some people, but he was not in the house more than ten minutes and he did not come back again.’

Thomas Sullivan said that on Monday evening he saw the deceased in Byrne’s public house between five and half past five. He could not say if the deceased had any drink but there was some on the counter in front of him and he seemed to be in the company of the doctor.

  Coroner: How did you know it was half–past five?’
  Sullivan: 'I knock off work about half past four. I judged (the time) by that.'

The next witness called was Sergeant Barry who testified ‘On the evening in question I went to the station at about 6.50 p.m. in a cab that was sent for me and found the body of Patrick Doyle lying between the signal rods and the inner rail close to the platform. The body was on its back and the right arm was under the rods. The left arm and the leg were across the inner rail while the head was (facing) towards Wicklow. The man was quite dead and there was a quantity of blood there. The body was moved to the residence of the deceased.The place where the body was lying was about 15 yards to the north of the signal cabin.


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