HC Deb 15 March 1922 vol 151 cc2184-5
70. Lieut. - Colonel ARCHER - SHEE

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information in the case of Charles Herbert Burns, who was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army at Milford, County Donegal; whether he is aware that the murder of this ex-soldier has been justified on the part of the Irish Republican Army on the ground that it was by lawful authority; and if he can say whether any representations have been made to the Provisional Government; and whether any arrests have been made by their authority in connection with this matter?


According to the evidence given at the coroner's inquest in this case, Burns was challenged and ordered to put up his hands by a picket of the so-called Irish Republican Army consisting of four men, who were under orders to attend at Milford Fair and to hold up and disarm all unauthorised persons found in the possession of firearms, and when challenged he put his hand to his pocket and drew a revolver, whereupon one of the four men fired and wounded him fatally. I am not aware that the so-called Irish Republican Army has made any statement in the matter; but the coroner's jury, consisting of six Protestants and six Catholics, none of whom, I understand, is a member of the Irish Republican Army, found that the man who fired did so in the execution of his duty. In view of the peculiar circumstances existing at the time and in the area where this unfortunate and regrettable event occurred, and in view of the finding of the coroner's jury, His Majesty's Government do not propose to take any further action in the matter.