The Irish Times, 10 September 1883
Alleged Inhuman Treatment of a Child.
At the Cork Police Office last Saturday (before the Mayor, Mr. B. J. Sheehan, and Mr. A. J. M'Dermott). Cornelius Ahern, a farrier, residing at 7 Dean street, was put forward in custody by Constable Ferguson, on the charge of having cruelly ill-treated his daughter, Sarah Ahern, a girl of eleven years, by tying a heavy chain around her leg, and leaving her in that position for days without food. The prisoner had taken to himself a second wife, who, it was stated, constantly beat her stepchild. The constable found the child tied with a chain and padlock, and the leg around which it was fastened was swollen and discolored.

Mrs. Good deposed that she lives next door to the prisoner. She heard the child often screaming, and supposed that it was being beaten by the stepmother. Mrs. Ellen O'Sullivan said that she saw the stepmother on several times beating the little child. The prisoner came to the house yesterday, and meeting the child on the stairs, tied it up as described by the constable. She had known the child to eat nothing for two days, and had several times to supply it with food. The child often complained to her of her stepmother's cruelty.

The Prisoner said that the girl was rebellious, and was in the habit of going out at night. He asked Canon Hegarty what he should do, and the rev. gentleman, as well as the head-constable in Tuckey street, to whom he also appealed, recommended him, he alleged, to tie up the child so as to keep it at home. The girl said she ran away because of the beating she got. Canon Hegarty came to the house and told her father not to beat her. The Magistrates directed the arrest of the stepmother, and adjourned the case, requesting the police to have the Rev. Canon Hegarty and the head-constable at next hearing.

The charge of ill-treating his child, aged 11, preferred against Cornelius Ahern, farrier, on Saturday, was again under investigation on Monday, the stepmother also being in custody. The defence was that the child had been refractory, but the magistrate believed the object of the parents was to get rid of the girl, and sentenced them to six months each at hard labour.

Submitted by dja

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