NOBODY took much notice when the train from Clonakilty pulled into Ballinascarthy station on Thursday January 5th, 1961 carrying beet and merchandise to Cork. The train also had to pick up a few wagons of beet which were filled at Ballinascarthy. The train was carrying cash from the bank in Clonakilty to be delivered to the stationmasters in Ballinascarthy and Gaggin which amounted £1,200, which was to pay the employees attached to the stations. The cash was carried in a locked hold-all in the guards van at the rear of the train.
As was normal practice every week, the guard had to leave his van to supervise the coupling of the beet wagons in Ballinascarthy and when he returned to the van, he got the shock of his life to discover that the cupboard was bare.
A huge investigation got under way immediately but the train, which was on its scheduled run and carrying perishable goods, had to continue its journey to Cork, which impeded the investigation to an extent.
In the following weeks, many locals and railway employees were questioned, but to this day nobody knows who carried out Ballinascarthy’s great train robbery sixty-one years ago. It is wondered if it was an inside job or an outside job. The crime remains unsolved.