When two men in a pub decided to settle their argument with a straightener one was left dead and he other imprisoned for manslaughter
On the evening of 16th September 1882 Edward McGuiness, a 29 year old shoemaker, was drinking in Mr Grace's public house in Scotland Road. He got into a row with Philip Clarke over a trivial matter and the two men were ordered by the landlord to fight in the yard to sort things out and not come back in until they had done so.
They took off their coats and fought outside for twenty minutes, both returning together to the bar where they shook hands. Clarke, who also now had his shirt off, had a bloodied nose and left the bar straight away carrying his coat.When he got to his home in Ben Jonson Street the 32 year old labourer could not stand straight and fell onto the floor, telling his wife that he had a pain in his stomach.
After remaining in bed for the rest of the weekend Clarke went to the dispensary on the Monday morning and was admitted to the workhouse hospital. The following day McGuiness was apprehended by police in the same public house and taken to Clarke's bedside. When Clarke told the detective he had been kicked in the stomach McGuiness denied it but he was taken into custody.
Clarke died two days later on on 21st September. A post mortem revealed he had a ruptured bladder which had been caused by a kick. On 24th November McGuiness appeared at the assizes before Mr Justice Day. He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour.