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Murder in the tenements
Nerney's Court, one of the most dilapidated of Dublin tenements in the early 20th century. Photo: Reproduced courtesy of Dublin City Public Library

Murder in the tenements

Published: 28 July 1913

Richard Murphy, a labourer, has been charged with the murder of his brother-in-law, Joseph Osborne, at the tenement house both men shared on Grenville Street, off Mountjoy Square in Dublin.

Mr. Osborne was married to the accused’s sister and at 11.15pm last Friday night, the court heard that Mr. Murphy used a razor to cut Mr. Osborne’s throat.

When the police arrived on the scene, they found blood all over the walls and on a table. The dead man was known to be ‘quarrelsome’ and was drunk on the night of his death. The accused, who was said to be a hard worker and who was not previously known to the police, also had drink on him.

He was reported as saying: ‘I was lying in bed asleep with my wife when Joseph Osborne came in and annoyed me. He had a hammer in his hand, and threatened to kill me. He struck me and shook a hammer over my head. I got my razor from under the head of the bed and made a clout at him to defend myself.’

The case continues.


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.