§ 12. Mr. MacVEAGH
asked whether the police-constable who fired at and killed 524 Michael Walsh at Ballinagool, Dungarvan, has been put on trial; and, if so, before what tribunal and with what result?
Constable McCarthy, the constable referred to, was brought before the resident magistrate, but, after careful consideration of the case and the verdict of the coroner's jury, my predecessor, the late Attorney - General, decided there should be no prosecution.
§ 13. Mr. MacVEAGH
asked under what circumstances Patrick Stoddert was shot dead near Kilkee; whether the soldier who fired the shot admitted that he fired to kill; whether the military officer gave orders that he was to fire to kill; and whether the officer and the soldier have been brought to justice?
At about 4.30 p.m. on 29th June, one of the sentries at Kilkee Camp observed Patrick Stoddert on the fence surrounding the camp. The fence is about 8 feet high, and no civilians are allowed to trespass in the camp. The man was repeatedly challenged by the sentry, but without effect. The sentry pointed his rifle at the man, who took no notice, and then fired, and the man dropped off the fence. The man was taken charge of by a stretcher party and carried into the camp, and his wound dressed by the military doctor. He was removed to Kilrush Hospital on 29th June, and died there on 1st July. A Court of Inquiry was held, and found that the sentry acted in accordance with his duty, and was not to blame. The sentry-did not admit that he fired to kill.
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
Is it a fact that it was proved at the inquest that this man was deaf and did not hear the warning given by the sentry? Will the right hon. Gentleman also tell me whether he has read the evidence, and, if so, how he-arrives at the conclusion that the officer did not admit that he gave orders to kill?.
So far as the statement as to the man being deaf is concerned, I am not aware that any such statement was made.
As regards the other question, the information I have given was communicated to me by the military officers.
§ 14. Mr. MacVEAGH
asked under what circumstances Mr. Murphy, a commercial traveller, was shot dead in Dundalk; and whether the man who fired the fatal shot has been put on trial?
The constabulary authorities had information that the Irish Volunteers had arranged an extensive raid for arms on the night of the 4th June. Picquets consisting of police and military were posted at four points on the Dundalk to Newry road, and about 11.45 p.m. a motor lorry coming from the Newry direction was challenged by one of the picquet. This car contained the late Mr. Matthew Murphy. The driver of the car was warned to proceed slowly, as he might be stopped on the way to Dundalk. Later on, the forward sentry of a picquet nearer to Dundalk observed a car approaching him from the Newry direction. The sentry challenged loudly three times, and the driver of the car ignored the challenge and drove past the sentry, whereupon all the members of the sentry group, who were about 50 yards behind the sentry, challenged loudly. The car did not stop. Three members of the group fired at the radiator of the car, one of the shots wounding Mr. Murphy in the leg. He was removed to the County Louth Infirmary, and died on the 7th June. No action has been taken against the men concerned.
No, Sir, except in relation to his conduct in passing the sentry; but on that night, as I have already stated, information of an extensive raid for arms was given to the authorities.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Has any expression of regret been sent by the Government to this unfortunate man's relatives?
§ Captain W. BENN
Were the occupants of this car threatening the life or safety of anybody? Had they any arms?
No, Sir, but they passed a sentry and were challenged on at least three or four occasions, and they insisted on passing the sentry.
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
Was there any reason to believe they heard the challenge at all? Have the Government admitted that this was an innocent man who was shot, and have they offered compensation?