Senator solves mystery of 100-year-old murder

A 100-year-oldurder has been solved by a senator who had a book on the subject launched last night by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

If the Seanad is abolished, Senator John Gilroy (Lab) may pursue a career “writing on cold cases”.

The Cork-based politician spent years researching the murder of 31-year-old Sanotic Koniste, a Japanese man shot dead on the Clifton Lodge Estate in Athboy, Co Meath, on Jul 27, 1913.

Mr Gilroy, who was born in Athboy, was fascinated by the story of Koniste who became manservant to the estate’s playboy multimillionaire owner John Morgan Mordecai Jones. Koniste travelled the world with his master, including to Kenya where Jones owned 100,000 acres of land.

When they returned to Athboy, people mistakenly believed Koniste had wrestled a lion while in Kenya.

“The poachers in Athboy were terrified of him as a result of this legend and Koniste never dispelled the myth,” Mr Gilroy said.

“A year before he was killed he came across five poachers on the estate and took them on. They beat him several times but he kept coming back at them.”

Four days before Koniste was murdered, Jones died of malaria. “Koniste was left temporarily in charge, but a row ensued between him and the gardener Peter Farrell Sr who threatened to kill Koniste. Therefore, after his death the RIC arrested Peter and his three sons who were in their 20s. They weren’t charged and the locals always maintained his killers were poachers.”

Mr Gilroy pursued the poachers line and was able to get it corroborated that the killer was Jack Connell, 41, who lived in the nearby village of Kildalkey.

“He lived with his mother and was an agricultural labourer known for poaching rabbits. He killed the Japanese man in a blind panic,” Mr Gilroy said.

The man who confirmed the identity of the killer is a grandson of another poacher who was with Connell on the night. “I gave him my word that I wouldn’t publish the name of this man,” Mr Gilroy added.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Child pornographer loses third detention appeal

Donald Trump’s Life next for Irish cartoonist?

UCC cancels conference on Israel

Bylaws ‘will spell the end of horse fairs’, say horse traders


Breaking Stories

Drama in mid-air after crew member (said to be captain) falls ill; flight diverts to Shannon

€37.5 MILLION worth of cannabis seized

No newsflash 'for now' from Gerry Adams on future as SF leader

Brendan Smyth's sex crimes 'ignored to protect good name of Church'

Lifestyle

Go from fatigued to fit with this quick workout

A look back at the inauspicious inaugurations in US history

Ian McKellen it's all about pleasing your parents

Time to indulge in a soak

More From The Irish Examiner