Irish Examiner 15. 08. 1911.
Our Midleton correspondent writes:- A remarkably sad and most regrettable drowning fatally occurred about 8 o’clock this morning off Loughcarrig, in the Ballinacurra estuary of Cork Harbour, at a spot distant about two miles from Midleton. The victim being Mr. Maurice O’Shea, aged about thirty years, who for many years past had been a prominent and expert of the famous Dungourney champion hurling team, and had also been a most successful jockey, who had placed many a winning mount to his credit at races in different parts of Ireland.
General regret is felt and expressed by the people of the district at the untimely end that befell such a truehearted and genuine Gael, and a gallant and spirited horseman.
It appears that poor O’Shea, who was in the employment of Mr. Jerry Rohan, the well-known horse breeder of Loughcarrig, Ballinacurra, as his general manager, trainer, jockey, went with his employer, Mr. Rohan for a swim in the tidal estuary near Loughcarrig House. They entered the water, and Mr. Rohan being a good swimmer, went pout a fair distance, but O’Shea, being only a poor swimmer stayed close to the shore. However it appears he ventured beyond his depth to about a distance of ten yards where he could get ground, and then getting into difficulties he called for help. At this time Mr. Rohan was a considerable distance away, but on hearing the cry for aid, he swam as quickly as possible to the rescue of O’Shea, who was floundering helplessly in the water. On reaching the drowning man Mr. Rohan, to his great credit let it be said, made heroic and superhuman efforts to save his employee from a watery grave, but alas, all his brave and sustained efforts were in vain, and Mr. Rohan becoming rapidly exhausted, had to make for a rock not far off to save his own life, and O’Shea, poor fellow, sank to rise no more. There is no doubt Mr. Rohan, who certainly risked his life to save his companion, deserves great credit for his gallant attempt at rescue, for when he reached the drowning man O’Shea took hold of his legs, and Mr. Rohan was rendered powerless to get O’Shea into shallow water. Whilst on the rock to which he had scrambled, Mr. Rohan succeeded in gaining the attention of some fishermen from Rathcoursey at the other side of the water from Loughcarrig, and quickly put off in their boats to his help and rescue.
Soon afterwards Mr. Rohan, who was thoroughly exhausted, lapsed into semi-unconsciousness, and was conveyed to his residence in a more or less collapsed state where he now lies at present suffering from shock and exhaustion. A search for the body of poor O’Shea was made by the fishermen, and the remains not far from the shore were soon recovered, and were subsequently taken to Loughcarrig House. As soon as possible the matter was reported to the police at Midleton, and Head Constable Doran, with Constable Patterson, repaired to Loughcarrig to make the usual enquires. The Coroner, Mr. Richard Rice, solr, Fermoy, has been communicated with on the subject.
It might be here mentioned that this young Gael and spirited Irish horseman was the good and dutiful widow O’Shea, of Ballygibbon, Dungourney, who is now left to mourn his loss, and to whom the deepest and most heartfelt sympathy will go out to in her terrible affliction from all classes and creeds in Midleton and throughout East Cork. Not alone was the late Mr. O’Shea one of the leading members of famous Dungourney hurling team, but he was also a well-known figure at Irish race meetings, and at many an Irish Agricultural Show. He played with his team in excellent form last Sunday week, 6th inst. At Queenstown against the Barrs, when Dungourney won the Bishop of Cloyne’s presentation cup in the great hurling contest in aid of the fund for the completion of the new parish church at Mogeely. The Dungourney team have, no doubt, every reason to bewail the loss of such a worthy member of their club, and indeed all Ireland for that matter have occasion to grieve at the passing away under such circumstances of a gallant Gael, who had so often and creditably distinguished himself by his prowess and great dexterity at matches played in different parts of Ireland within the last dozen years. For a considerable time past the deceased had been in the employment of Mr. Jerry Rohan as trainer in charge of his stables, and as a leading jockey for his employer.
To numerate all of his success at Irish race meetings would be no easy task, but it is worthy to note that he rode for Mr. T. McCarthy for Queenstown, at last May Races in Cork Park, and successfully steered his mount to victory in one of the events. He also won a race at Ballynoe Races this year on Spotted Lady, and was likewise a winner at Watergrasshill. Some two years ago he rode Long Span for Mr. D. Leahy at Bartlemy, and won in fine style there, and at Lisgoold fixture last April twelve months he was securely riding Brown King, owned by Mr. P. Cullinane, of Dungourney, to victory in the Farmers Race, when the bridle unfortunately broke, and checked the progress of the runner that barely escaped from being first past the post. As a sportsman, and an all-round one at that, the late Maurice O’Shea, of Dungourney, had indeed held a high and proud record, a fact that was acknowledged everywhere in this extensive division of County Cork. Perhaps by none will his demise so keenly felt and regretted as by his kind and generous master and employer. Mr. Jerry Rohan, who’s right hand man he had been all along in his training establishment at Loughcarrig. He was truly a worthy and excellent employee of a good and considerate employer, and certainly between both much warm hearted affection and high regard existed. As regards the feats of horsemanship performed by the deceased at Irish agricultural shows, it might likewise be mentioned that mounted on one of Mr. Rohan’s spirited hunters, the late Maurice O’Shea won first place in the jumping contest at the last Midleton Show, and he had placed similar success to his credit at Lismore and Clonmel Shows.
At A meeting of the Directors of the Cork Athletic Grounds held on Monday night Mr. W. Wren, chairman, presiding, touching reference was made to the sad death of Mr. Maurice O’Shea member of the Dungourney Hurling Club and an all-round sportsman. A vote of condolence was passed to the deceased’s, relatives and the secretary, Mr. J.J. Buckley, was directed to forward a copy of it to them and also to the members of the Dungourney Hurling Club.