Lurgan-Ancestry

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Lurgan (Lady Day) Riots – Adjourned Inquest on John Furfey 1879

The Rioting In Lurgan.

The Adjourned Inquest On The Body Of John Furfey.

The Belfast News-Letter,
Tuesday, August 19,
1879.

 

LURGAN, MONDAY – The inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of the boy John Furfey was resumed in the Courthouse, this morning, at ten o’clock, before Mr. E. D. Atkinson, Coroner, Tandragee. Mr. Greer, S.C.S., instructed by Sub-Inspector Hayes, appeared for the Crown; and Mr. P. Doyle, Banbridge, represented the next of kin.

The following were the jury sworn upon the inquiry :-

Samuel McCullough (foreman), William White,
William Crawford, James Kennedy,
Daniel Murray, George R. Carrick,
Peter Duffy, Peter Plenderleith,
William McGibbon, Robert Anderson,
Murtagh McCann, Hugh Anderson,
John Magee, Joseph McCleery,
John McGeown, James McClimond,
John Magee, jun., William Carter,
Bernard McGlinn, Hugh Kearns,
William Mahaffey, Halliday Gracey, all of Lurgan.
John Ross, jun.,  

 

The jury having answered to their names, the first witness examined was:
Mounted Constable Robert Quilty – He deposed he was stationed in the city of Armagh. He was on duty in Lurgan on Friday last, the 15th August. He was on duty in North Street, along with Mr. Redmond, R.M. They were both mounted. He went down the street with him after the procession. At one o’clock they were together at the church, when Mr. Redmond rode one of the constabulary horses. He ordered witness when the procession passed to follow with him after them. They went down part of North Street, and about half way down they saw a disturbance. He and witness trotted down towards it. There was a man arrested by the police. They remained there a short time looking on, and the prisoner was taken away by the police. Farther on they saw stone-throwing beyond the chapel from the town. They again trotted up and saw part of the processionists throwing stones at a few policemen. Mr. Redmond ordered him to draw his sword, and he did so, and they both charged the stone-throwers. The rioters ran back towards the procession, and they rode up to them, and they commenced pelting them with stones. Mr. Redmond rode back from him to hurry on a party of police, and while he was absent witness got different blows of stones on the body. He ordered the men when he came back to charge them. The men charged, but the stone-throwing continued with more violence. Witness got a blow of a large stone on left arm at the time. He had to sheath his sword because he had to hold the reigns in his right hand. The stone-throwing still continued. There was a large heap of stones on the side of the road. Mr. Redmond ordered the men to fire. He heard four shots and he saw a man falling in the procession on the road. The processionists then appeared to get more excited, and Mr. Redmond ordered one shot more to be fired, after which the firing discontinued. The stone throwing appeared to cease then. That is all I know about this.

To the CORONER – I was in the centre of the men who fired.
Mr. GREER – On behalf of the Crown I must ask liberty to put a few questions to the witness.
The CORONER – Certainly.
Mr. GREER – Have you been on duty since the 15th of August ?
WITNESS – I have not.
Mr. GREER – Why have you not been on duty since ?
WITNESS – I got a certificate from the doctor that I had received injuries and was unfit for duty.
Mr. GREER – I understand that on the last day there was some allegation that this man fired a pistol and I wish to ask him as to that in order to have it cleared up.
The CORONER – I have no objection to you asking him as to that; but I did not ask any question of the kind.
Mr. GREER – Well, that was the intimation made – that the man fired a pistol.
Mr. DOYLE – I cannot see the necessity of an examination on that point.
Mr. GREER – Well, if there is any objection I will not press it.
Mr. DOYLE – Then I do object.

The witness was then cross-examined by Mr. Doyle.
Mr. DOYLE – Where not the processionists quiet and orderly when they passed the church ?
WITNESS – They were.
Mr. DOYLE – There was an opposing crowd on the other side of the street ?
WITNESS – I saw some spectators standing at the head of North Street.
Mr. DOYLE – How many “spectators,” as you call them ?
WITNESS – I suppose there might be 100 or 200 people between the head of North Street and the Church.
Mr. DOYLE – You know Lurgan well ?
WITNESS – I have been here a few times.
Mr. DOYLE – As soon as they got quietly into North Street, did you follow them ?
WITNESS – Yes; we went behind them.
Mr. DOYLE – How and why did you follow them when there was no opposing crowd ?
WITNESS – I can’t account for that.
Mr. DOYLE – You acted under orders ?
WITNESS – Yes, I did.
Mr. DOYLE – How far had the processionists gone up North Street when you and Mr. Redmond followed them ?
WITNESS – They had got round the turn out of view, and when we went half-way down the street there was a man arrested, and there was some confusion in the street. The first confusion took place opposite the Free School.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you see any people exhibiting any ill feeling towards the processionists ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. DOYLE – How many police were removing this obstreperous man ?
WITNESS – Three of four; there might be more.
Mr. DOYLE – Did they take him ?
WITNESS – I believe so.
Mr. DOYLE – Was there any other persons giving annoyance to the police at the time you and Captain Redmond came up ?
WITNESS – I don’t know. I could now swear that there was any other than one person giving trouble at the time. After the man was arrested we went towards the chapel, and at that time the largest part of the processionists had passed, and I only saw one flag.
Mr. DOYLE – Had that one flag disappeared before Redmond gave the order to lead ?
WITNESS – Well, I am not sure.
Mr. DOYLE – Will you swear it had not ?
WITNESS – I would not swear it.
Mr. DOYLE – You said, I think, that after this man had been arrested you and Mr. Redmond waited a short time looking on ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. DOYLE – At what were you looking ?
WITNESS – At the confusion about the man that had been arrested.

The CORONER (interposing) – I think that unless you go so far with your case as to say that Mr. Redmond actually caused the riot himself, I cannot see the bearing of your cross-examination.
Mr. DOYLE – I will even go further than that.
The CORONER – Unless you say that he did so intentionally, I cannot see the force of this cross-examination.
Mr. DOYLE – I will even go further than that, and say that it was he who caused the murder.
The CORONER – Unless you go so far as to assert that Mr. Redmond was guilty of causing the riot, I don’t see what we have in this inquiry to do with an investigation as to the cause of the riot.
Mr. DOYLE – I am quite in your hands, sir, as to whether I shall have an opportunity of addressing the jury, and laying my care before them; but I would respectfully put it to the jury that we have not only to inquire here into the cause of death, but also as to what was the cause of it, and who was the cause of it. And more than that, I intend to make a charge against Mr. Redmond of deliberate and wilful murder. (Laughter.)
Mr. GREER – If that be so, I think we shall hear some new definition of murder. (Renewed laughter.)
The CORONER – Unless the jury come to the conclusion that the resident magistrate who came to Lurgan for the purpose of preserving the peace on that particular occasion, whose sole business was to preserve the peace, so far neglected his duty as to cause the riot, in order to shoot these people, I don’t see the necessity of this preliminary inquiry.
Mr. DOYLE – I think I shall be able to go that length.
The CORONER – We have nothing to do with how the riot commenced, if it was a riot, unless he caused it. It was his business to suppress it.
Mr. DOYLE – It is admitted that there were no opposing parties whatever.
The CORONER – If we are to believe the evidence, these people opposed themselves to the police. There were her Majesty’s forces on one side, and not the processionists, but a lot of people who followed at the tail of the procession, on the other. The procession having gone on, they remained behind, and, according to the evidence of some of the witnesses, a crowd of some two or three hundred people engaged in this riot.
Mr. GREER – It was a lawless mob attacking the constituted authority of the country.
Mr. DOYLE – I think they were a very legal mob.
Mr. GREER – That is where we differ. I would rather avoid such legal mobs.

Cross-examination resumed.
Mr. DOYLE – Mr. Redmond gave you the order to draw you sword ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. DOYLE – And you charged this lawless mob, as Mr. Greer has called them ?
WITNESS – By his orders I did.
Mr DOYLE – You won’t take it upon yourself to say it was a lawless mob ?
WITNESS – Indeed, they were.
Mr. DOYLE – When you and Mr. Redmond charged this lawless mob what occurred ?
WITNESS – The party that was throwing stones at the rear of the procession retreated into the procession.
MR. DOYLE – Had the last flag of the procession disappeared at that time ?
WITNESS – I am not sure.
Mr. DOYLE – You did not come back with Mr. Redmond ?
WITNESS – No.
Mr. DOYLE – You stood your ground against this lawless mob, and he retreated ?
WITNESS – I remained there.
The CORONER – About what was the strength of this lawless mob ?
WITNESS – There were about two or three hundred people in it.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you say that when Mr. Redmond returned he gave you the order to charge ?
WITNESS – He gave the men the order to charge.
Mr. DOYLE – Did he give the order directly to the police ?
WITNESS – I believe so.
Mr. DOYLE – I suppose you have a long service in the force ?
WITNESS – I have.
Mr. DOYLE – How long ?
WITNESS – Nearly twenty-eight years.
Mr. DOYLE – Is the order to load and fire given through the sub-inspector in charge of the police, or through the magistrate in command ?
WITNESS – The magistrate, I believe, gives the order to fire, and the sub-inspector gives the order to load and fire.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you hear Sub-Inspector Barry, who was in charge of the police, give the order to the police ?
WITNESS – I believe I did.
Mr. DOYLE – Never mind what you believe. Did you hear him give the order ?
WITNESS – I did.
Mr. DOYLE – What did you hear ?
WITNESS – I heard the word “Load”
Mr. DOYLE – What else did you hear ?
WITNESS – Nothing else until I heard the shots.
Mr. DOYLE – How many shots did you hear ?
WITNESS – I believe five.
Mr. DOYLE – Were you here on Saturday when Sub-Inspector Barry was examined ?
WITNESS – I was.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you hear him swear that he only gave orders for two shots ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. DOYLE – What do you mean by saying that you heard the order to fire given by Sub-Inspector Barry, although he only gave orders for two shots, and you heard five ?
WITNESS – I mean I heard five shots altogether from the commencement to the end of the occurrence.
Mr. DOYLE – You heard no order given by Mr. Barry but the one ?
WITNESS – I don’t know what that I did. We were separated from him a short distance during part of the time.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you not swear on your direct examination that you heard four more shots fired, and a second order given for one more ?
WITNESS – I heard four shots fired without much intermission, and then I heard Captain Redmond giving orders for another shot and to cease firing.
Mr. DOYLE – After you heard the four shots fired did you see a man fall ?
WITNESS – I did.
Mr. DOYLE – When the order was given for the fifth shot had the procession passed around the corner ?
WITNESS – The procession had passed by, but there were two or three hundred of them on the road when the fifth shot was fired.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you see the fifth shot take any effect ?
WITNESS – No.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you see the man that fell taken away off the road ?
WITNESS – I did.
Mr. DOYLE – How long was he allowed to remain lying on the road ?
WITNESS – I suppose twenty minutes.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you go down to see him ?
WITNESS – I did.
Mr. DOYLE – Did Captain Redmond go down to see the man ?
WITNESS – I did not see him there. The County Inspector sent me into town for a doctor and a car to remove the man.
The CORONER – Did you procure a doctor ?
WITNESS – I did, and also a car.
Mr. DOYLE – During your experience in the force did you ever see as bad riots as took place on Friday ?
WITNESS – I did not see worse.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you ever see any as bad ?
WITNESS – I don’t think I did.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you ever, during your experience of twenty-eight years in the force, know of a resident magistrates ordering the police to fire on a crowd ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. DOYLE – Were you alongside Mr. Redmond all the time ?
WITNESS – I was, only when he went back for the party of police.
Mr. DOYLE – Could he have read the Riot Act without your seeing him ?
WITNESS – Well, I am not sure, really.
Mr. DOYLE – Will you swear on your oath that if Captain Redmond read the Riot Act at any time during the disturbance that you could miss seeing or hearing him read it ?
WITNESS – No answer.
Mr. DOYLE – Yes or no, man ?
WITNESS – Well, I believe I could have heard him if he had read it.
Mr. DOYLE – As a matter of fact you did not hear the Riot Act read ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you ever see a mob charged with fixed bayonets without the Riot Act having been read within your experience ?
WITNESS – I did.
Mr. DOYLE – Where ?
WITNESS – In Portadown.
Mr. DOYLE – Do you know who was in charge of the police on that occasion ?
WITNESS – The stipendiary magistrate who was there about six years ago.
Mr. DOYLE – Mr. McSheehy, I suppose ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. DOYLE – Are you sure he did not read the Riot Act before he charged the crowd with fixed bayonets ?
WITNESS – I did not hear him.
Mr. DOYLE – But he might have read it unknown to you ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. DOYLE – At all events, in this particular case you swear that Captain Redmond could not have read the Riot Act without you seeing him ?
WITNESS – Well, I did not hear him.

Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Will you give the exact words that Mr. Redmond used in giving you the order to follow the procession at the church ?
WITNESS – I think what he told me was to follow the procession down North Street.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Did he say “Follow the procession,” or “Follow me after the procession ?”
WITNESS – I believe what he said was to follow the procession, and keep after them through North Street.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – You said that your attention was attracted by a disturbance in Ulster Street, and that while the police were attempting to arrest a man at that place you saw a party throwing stones at the police near the chapel. Was there as a matter of fact a party of police between the place where the man was arrested and the chapel at the time ?
WITNESS – There were police between us and the chapel.
The CORONER – What is your evidence as to that part of the occurrence ?
WITNESS – I saw a few of the police between the stone-throwing party and where the man was arrested. The processionists seemed to be throwing stones at the police at that point.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – You say there was a slight cessation in the stone-throwing after you heard the first two shots, so that you disagree with Sub-Inspector Barry in that ?
WITNESS – I did not say that it was after the last shot I noticed the cessation in the stone-throwing.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – You told Mr. Greer that you were off duty since that day. Was there any duty for a mounted constable in town since Friday ?
WITNESS – Well, I can’t say that there was.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Did any person examine your ammunition since the occurrence of the riot ?
WITNESS – No.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Did anyone examine the ammunition of the other mounted constable ?
WITNESS – There was no mounted constable with me at the riot. Mr Redmond was riding that man’s horse.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – I am aware of that. Does a mounted man carry his pistol in his pocket or in the holster ?
WITNESS – In the holster.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Might your comrade’s pistol have been used without your knowing it ?
WITNESS – It was not loaded.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – I did not ask you whether it was loaded or not. Might it have been used without your knowledge ?
WITNESS – It could not.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Didn’t Mr. Redmond leave you to go back for the police ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Then, could he not have used it without your knowledge ?
WITNESS – I know it was not loaded. I ordered the man myself not to load the pistol, and he told me he had not loaded it.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Did you examine his ammunition since ?
WITNESS – No.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Then how do you know it was not loaded ?
WITNESS – I gave the order to the man not to load the pistol, and he told me he had not done so.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – That is all you know about it ?
WITNESS – That is all.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – You say you never saw a worse riot. Were you in Lurgan when the dragoons charged the crowd in William Street three of four years ago ?
WITNESS – I am not sure whether I was here that time. I was here on different occasions.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Were you in Portadown the time the man was shot at the bonfire ?
WITNESS – No.

Mr. GREER – Do the mounted constables carry their ammunition in pouches over their shoulders ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – When the mounted man gave his horse to Captain Redmond did he still keep his pouch ?
WITNESS – He did.
The CORONER – What is the mounted man’s name ?
WITNESS – Patrick Wrafter.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Will your worship ask the witness how he knows the man had his ammunition in the pouch on his shoulder. He could not see through leather no more than I could.
WITNESS – The man told me his ammunition was in the pouch. He examined his own ammunition and mine that evening and found it was all complete.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Perhaps that was to supplement it. As a matter of fact did you discharge any firearms that day ?
WITNESS – I did not.
A JUROR – After the five shots were fired did you hear any other shot ?
WITNESS – No.
Another JUROR – There is one matter which I am not distinct about. I understood the witness to say that four shots were fired from the constabulary when he saw a man lying on the road, and that afterwards Mr. Redmond gave a further order to fire.
The CORONER – That is the evidence.
The JUROR – How long did the charge continue on the crowd ?
WITNESS – It lasted about three minutes, and they retired and I stood my ground. The shots were fired about three minutes after that again, or about six minutes in all from the charge was made.
The JUROR – Were the policemen injured ?
WITNESS – Yes, they were. I saw several of them bleeding.
The JUROR – And you did not retire with the constabulary ?
WITNESS – No. I did not.
The JUROR – That is not very likely. (Laughter.)

Patrick Wrafter, the other mounted constable – deposed that he was stationed at Armagh. He was in Lurgan last Friday. Captain Redmond got his horse on that day. He got a revolver along with the horse. It was in the holster then, but unloaded. He did not get his cartridge pouch or any ammunition. He got his revolver back immediately after the occurrence. It had not been discharged up to the time he examined it. From a report he heard that a mounted constable had fired a shot, he examined Constable Quilty’s pouch, his own pouch, and all was complete and unused. That was about dusk in the evening. There were no means that he knew of, of replacing a round of ammunition.
To a JUROR – He did not show the pouches to his officer afterwards.
Mr. DOYLE – Would that cartridge (produced) suit your revolver ?
WITNESS – No, that is an infantry cartridge, I think.
Sub-Inspector HAYES – It is not a constabulary cartridge at all.
Mr. DOYLE – You have sworn you did not know where the mounted man could get a round of ammunition in Lurgan after he had fired. Do you believe that ?
WITNESS – I do. He might get a round in Dublin. (Laughter.)
To a JUROR – He could not have got a duplicate in Lurgan.
Mr. DOYLE – Is the ammunition taken account of when given out to him ?
WITNESS – Yes; and he must account for all he gets when he returns.
Mr. DOYLE – You where not near when the firing was going on ?
WITNESS – No, I was not.
A JUROR – You say he could get no duplicate in Lurgan of the cartridge ?
WITNESS – Yes, I do.
Mr. DOYLE – Not except from Mr. Redmond.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Would it be possible to make a cartridge to suit the revolver ?
WITNESS – No, it would not, as it is in a pin revolver.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Is it usual for a sub-constable to examine a constable’s cartridge pouch ?
WITNESS – No, it is not, but I will tell you why I did so.  There was a rumour in the town that a mounted man had fired a shot, and the inmates of the house where I was stopping believed nothing else, and I examined both pouches to satisfy them.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – That rumour justified the questions we have asked.
Another JUROR – We have only evidence of the firing of five shots, and the sub-inspector has deposed as to who fired those shots. Why, therefore, should we go further; it is only a waste of time.

Mr. GREER  I am instructed by the constabulary to say they cannot examine any more parties to throw additional light upon the case; and as the jury has already heard the parties examined, I will not detain the Court further.
Mr. DOYLE – I appear for the next of kin, and I have some witnesses to examine, who will, I am confident to be able to throw some additional light upon the occurrence. Evidence will be given to show, and I am sure to satisfy, the jury that this gentleman, Mr. Redmond, did not act with that discretion which he might otherwise have done.
The CORONER – You have heard, Mr. Doyle, what I have already said with regard to that. I don’t know that the mere want of discretion would affect the verdict on the case.
Mr. DOYLE – After the jury hears the evidence which I have to give I am sure it will change the minds of some of them. Of course, I am entirely in your hands as to what I shall do.
The CORONER – Oh, certainly, you can give any evidence you wish affecting the cause of death, and I am bound to hear it.
Mr. DOYLE – I may state further that, no matter what the verdict may be, I am at liberty to send in an indictment against Mr. Redmond to the Grand Jury.
Mr. GREER – Sure that is only your common law of right.
Mr. DOYLE – Yes, and I will take advantage of it.
Mr. GREER – There is no use making use of any threats here.
Mr. DOYLE – I am using no threats but what I intend to carry out.
The CORONER – If you give us evidence, Mr. Doyle, I must ask you to confine it to the cause of death, unless you go so far as to charge Mr. Redmond with utter disregard and neglect of his duty, and that he provoked the riot which led to the occurrence.
Mr. GREER – But Mr. Doyle has said now that it was merely a want of discretion; before he said it was deliberate murder.
Mr. DUFFY (juror) – Let us have some other evidence produced. We have had no person yet at the scene of the occurrence except the boy’s father.
Mr. DOYLE – I will give evidence from the first of the occurrence at the head of North Street till the time when the boy was shot.

Patrick McCann, Clara Street, Lurgan, deposed – My trade is that of a carpenter. I saw the processionists on Friday. I was a member of the procession for part of the road. I accompanied the procession from the head of North Street down to by the chapel. When I got the length of the chapel I stopped. A row had taken place before I got that length, between Ulster Street and the chapel. As soon as the procession had passed Ulster Street, or rather before they had all passed, the workers from the factory were coming up Ulster Street. I saw some police trying to keep the factory workers in Ulster Street. I saw them do nothing that would lead the police to keep them in that street up to that time except that they were shouting. On a little further I saw some stones coming over the demesne wall. The demesne belongs to Lord Lurgan. There were different stones thrown over the wall – I should say twenty or thirty – and half of a bottle. At that time there were just a few police at Ulster Street. I saw Constable Edwards trying to keep back the parties in Ulster Street. I only saw two or three other police there. When I got on nearly to the chapel I heard some parties in the procession saying that they were stoning from behind. The parties that said that were in the procession. When the last of the procession had got the length of the chapel Mr. Redmond came down with a mounted man. At that time both parties were throwing stones at each other. I mean by that that the Protestant party and the Catholic party were throwing stones at each other. The Protestant party were between the chapel and Ulster Street. Mr. Redmond and the mounted constable went between the two parties at the time. They rode down on their horses until they got nearer the procession. I believe there were two or three hundred in the Protestant party following up.

Mr. DOYLE – Did you see Mr. Redmond or anyone with him do anything to prevent the Protestant party following up ?
WITNESS – No; nothing whatever. The first thing I saw was a number of policemen running up between the two horses with swords fixed.
Mr. DOYLE – Did you hear Mr. Redmond give any orders to the police ?
WITNESS – I heard the man on foot giving the police the order to charge. I identify Sub-Inspector Barry as the gentleman who gave the order to charge. I did not hear Mr. Barry get any orders previous to his telling the police to charge. After the order was given the police charged the processionists for two or three yards. I could not see the processionists from the position I was in.  I heard Sub-Inspector swear on Saturday that he thought the parties charged were Orangemen. (Laughter.)
Mr. DOYLE – What did the Protestant party do when the police charged ?
WITNESS – They continued to throw stones at the police and over the heads of the police. At the same time the stones came over the heads of the police. As soon as the police had charged with the swords I retired back, and I heard Mr. Redmond say “Fire, fire.” I heard no other order given until the shots went off. I saw five shots fired from where I was standing. No other shots could have been fired at the time without my hearing them. Before Mr Redmond gave the orders to fire I saw him read noting. I was standing within four or five yards from him. He could not have produced a book without my seeing him. I know what the Riot Act is. I heard it read here in town. (Laughter.) He could not have read the Riot Act without my seeing him or even attempted to read it. From what stones I saw thrown by both parties I did not believe there was sufficient cause for firing.

Cross-examined by Mr. Greer.
Mr. GREER – You are an experienced man in riots ?
WITNESS – Not much.
Mr. GREER – Have you ever been in one before ?
WITNESS – Never, and I was not in this one either.
Mr. GREER – Did you heard the Riot Act read ?
WITNESS – I have heard what they call the Riot Act read. I have seen a magistrate reading it.
Mr. GREER – Where was that ?
WITNESS – In Lurgan.
Mr. GREER – Was the town in a peaceable state at the time that that was going on ?
WITNESS – It was not.
Mr. GREER – Was a riot going on ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – And you were there ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – You saw twenty or thirty stones thrown before you got to the chapel ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – And there was a row going on ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – And the police did their best to stop it ?
WITNESS – Yes; but there were not many police there.
Mr. GREER – When you got to the demesne you saw some stones thrown there ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – Who were the stones thrown at ?
WITNESS – I don’t know.
Mr. GREER – Try and give the jury some information about it ?
WITNESS – They were supposed to be thrown at the procession.
Mr. GREER – Were any of them thrown at the police ?
WITNESS – I could not say.
Mr. GREER – Are those the stones that came over the demesne wall ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – Then your evidence is that some people behind the demesne wall threw twenty or thirty stones, and they didn’t care whom they hit ?
WITNESS – Yes, I would say so.
Mr. GREER – What is the height of the demesne wall ?
WITNESS – About fifteen or twenty feet.
Mr. GREER – Could you see the people behind the demesne wall ?
WITNESS – No.
Mr. GREER – And they were shying the stones over the wall ?
WITNESS – Yes.
Mr. GREER – And they didn’t know whether they were to hit Protestants, Catholics or police – is that your evidence ?
WITNESS – Yes, that is my evidence.
Mr. GREER – Did you see Lord Lurgan’s gatehouse wrecked ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. GREER – Did you see the wooden door smashed open by the processionists ?
WITNESS – I did not go any further on.
Mr. GREER – Did you see 26 panes of glass smashed in the house ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. GREER – On your oath ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. GREER – You didn’t see anyone ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. GREER – Did you see any people in the chapel yard ?
WITNESS – I saw people down on the road between the school and the road. They were not members of the procession.
Mr. GREER – Did you see any of the police injured ?
WITNESS – I did not.
Mr. GREER – Did you see Head-Constable Henderson with his head out ?
WITNESS – I didn’t see him until Saturday.
Mr. GREER – You didn’t see the policemen injured in the crowd ?
WITNESS – I did not, but they may have been hit with some stones.

The CORONER – Did you see any policemen hit with stones ?
WITNESS – Well, they may have been hit.
The CORONER – Did you see them hit ?
WITNESS – I suppose there were some, but I could not just see whether they were hit or not.
The CORONER  – What was it that caused the police to retire after they charged ?
WITNESS – The stones that were thrown.
The CORONER  – On account of the stones thrown from the mob they had charged ?
WITNESS – Yes, and others.
The CORONER  – Is that your evidence ?
WITNESS – Yes, I could not see the processionists at all. I saw stones coming at the same time over the demesne wall.
The CORONER  – Did the police retire in consequence of the stoning they received from the crowd they had charged, or from people behind the men whom they were charging ?
WITNESS – They may have fired, but I saw stones coming over the wall.
In answer to Mr. HAZLETT, the witness said he did not see Mr. Allen, Lord Lurgan’s gardener, standing behind the wall at the time and viewing what was going on.
A JUROR – What are we to understand by this evidence given by a witness of Mr. Doyle’s own selection ?
Mr. DOYLE – If you know nothing more about the evidence after hearing the witness examined and cross examined, I can’t help it. I will leave the Court to judge of it.
The CORONER – This question which the juror has asked is a very persistent one – namely, as to what bearing the witness will have upon the inquiry.
Another JUROR – We only want to find out who shot the boy.
Mr. DOYLE – What I want to prove by witnesses is that there was not sufficient provocation given by the processionists to Mr. Redmond or the police to justify them firing upon them. If he had driven back the parties who were attacking them there would have been no disturbance at all. This is not a question of Protestant and Roman Catholic, and if Mr. Redmond had acted with proper caution of death of an innocent child.
The CORONER – Do you mean to say if a riot is going on a magistrate is of necessity bound upon the occasion to determine which of the rioters he will endeavour to disperse ? Is he bound to decide which of the parties he will go against for the purpose of dispersing them ?
Mr. DOYLE – he is bound to comply with the law.
Mr. GREER – Sure, we are all bound to do that.
Mr. DOYLE – It is only fair that the jury should have before them that Catholics get no fair play in Lurgan.
Mr. GREER – The sooner, Mr. Coroner, we put an end to this the better.
Mr. DOYLE – You won’t put an end to it.
A JUROR – Again I say that the inquiry here is simply as to the cause of death.
The CORONER – The inquiry certainly is as to the cause of death, as to who shot the boy, and let us confine ourselves to that.
Mr. DOYLE – Does the Crown attach no importance whatever to the question whether the Riot Act was read or not ? That seems to me a very important point.
The CORONER – Do you mean to say that he would wait for an hour, and allow that conduct to go on ?
Mr. DOYLE – No, I do not; as that act has been repealed by a subsequent one.
The CORONER – Is the act repealed which calls upon a magistrate to suppress a riot ?
Mr. DOYLE – The 27th sec. of George III, chap. 15th, does not justify his conduct. In a foot note to that act it is further cited.
Mr. GREER – There is no foot note to an act of Parliament. (Laughter.)
Mr. DOYLE – I have the act in my hand.
Mr. GREER – I have never heard of such a thing. An act of Parliament is an act of Parliament, but I do not know of any foot note to it.
A JUROR – I suppose the crowd can kill as many police as they like within the hour which would elapse. (Laughter.)
Mr. DOYLE – On the other hand, the policemen have a right, I suppose, to kill as many innocent children as they like. You cannot contend that they should be shot down like dogs. I would direct attention to the 13th Victoria, chap. 2.
The CORONER – Section 2nd of that act gives power to any magistrate to disperse a mob, or if they do not disperse he can arrest the offenders without a warrant and proceed against them in a summary way. The 3rd of Geo. III, chap. 19, has never been repealed. It was an act for the indemnifying of all such persons as shall be riotous and it shows that it is the duty of the justices of the peace, or the sheriff or under sheriff of any county where any riotous assembly shall be together, to arrest the offenders and bring them to justice; and if any person should happen to be killed, in the seizing or apprehending of such persons, any peace officer connected therewith shall be free of that persons death, or of the charge of maiming or hurting him.
Mr. DOYLE – Is it possible that the people should be fired upon without getting some notice of some sort to disperse.
Mr. GREER – I thought they gave the mob practical notice when they were charged with bayonets; when they drove back the police, and paid no attention to the charge.
Mr. DOYLE – I maintain that it is absolutely necessary before a riot can be suppressed, or the use of firearms resorted to, that the Riot Act should be read.
Mr. GREER – The sooner you inform yourself upon the law in that respect so much the better. Irrespective of the passing or existence of any Riot Act, under the common law the magistrate was entitled to do what he did.
Mr. DOYLE – I beg your parden, that is not so.
Mr. GREER – It is laid down in “Archibald.”
Mr. DOYLE – But there is nothing about a riot here.
Mr. GREER – Sure your own witness has proved a riot.
The CORONER – Certainly.
Mr. DOYLE – I must repeat that the opposing party should have been attacked, and not the processionists.
The CORONER – A riot undoubtedly was going on when the magistrate gave the order to fire.
Mr. DOYLE – But that is assuming that the stones were coming from the processionists.
Mr. GREER – It is no matter where they were coming from.
Mr. DOYLE – They were coming certainly over Lord Lurgan’s wall.
The CORONER – The police were not charging innocent people; they charged where the stones came from.
Mr. Robert Anderson (a juror) – Did the last witness see the opposing party behind threw stones ?
The CORONER – That is not necessary in the case. (To Mr. Doyle) – You can give any evidence you wish.
Mr. DOYLE – I decline to give any more evidence under the circumstances.
Mr. HAZLETT – Is there any use in giving rebutting evidence as to the insinuation about the stones being thrown over Lord Lurgan’s wall. The evidence was brought forward simply, I believe, to give annoyance to one who is unable to be here, and who will be much annoyed when he reads this in the newspapers. I can state in open court that there is not a scintilla of truth in the allegation that stones came from the demesne.
The CORONER – It does not affect the case particularly in any way.
Mr. DOYLE – If it does not I am sorry I gave the evidence.
Mr. GREER – For my part I am glad you did, as it just completed the case.
Mr. DOYLE – Well, I am sure you are, as the Crown is always glad of a victory. You shall have a little more of it by and by.

The Coroner, in charging the jury, said, after the patient investigation they had given the case, he would not detain them with any lengthened remarks on the evidence. Before he referred to one or two points that he considered were important for the jury to bear in mind before arriving at a verdict, he wished to read them some extracts from different acts of Parliament in force bearing on the power vested in the magistrates and the police to suppress riots, and the measures which they were justified in using for the suppression of such disturbances. Having done so, he went on to say that the circumstances of this case were very painful. It was far more than twenty years since he came to the conclusion that processions of all descriptions were unsuitable in this country, and ought not to be permitted under any circumstances. He did not refer to anyone party more than another. He believed that, having regard to the country we live in, and having regard to the ill feeling that processions of every description produced, that they are most prejudicial to the interest of peace and the well-being of this country. It was melancholy fact, but such was the case.  He had no more sympathy with one procession than another. He had his own religious feelings, perhaps, as strong as any man in court, but they did not teach him to hate, or dislike, or offend any man. On the contrary, they taught him to try and live in peace with all men, and to offend no one; and if everybody tried to do the same thing it would be much better for them and for the country.
It appeared that on the 15th August a demonstration took place through this town, and all seemed to have gone quietly with the procession until it reached the corner of North Street. It was a lawful procession, and had a perfect right to walk according to the law of the country. Whether it was judicious that it should walk was not for him to say; but there was no doubt they were exercising a legal right in doing so. At the corner of North Street three stragglers from the procession would appear to have been interfered with by persons standing there. Those parties were guilty of an illegal act in interfering with the processionists, and were liable to be arrested, but it did not appear to have been a serious matter. It was promptly suppressed, and from the evidence it seemed highly probable that the disturbance spread down the street to the crowd of processionists in front. It would appear, and it was only natural, that as soon as the parties further down learned that some of their number were ill-treated, they returned for the protection of their friends, but as there was a large force of police stationed at the corner, they ought to have considered that there would be sufficient protection from any attack that would be made, and that no harm could come to them. They had the evidence of Mr. Johnston, J.P., that he exerted himself to prevent the parties returning from the procession towards the crowd at the head of North Street, and that the unarmed police were engaged in a similar way. It seemed to him to be a most desirable thing that these parties should be kept from coming into collision with the parties in North Street. There was no occasion for the processionists returning to protect their friends, the policemen were there to protect them, and it was apparent that if they got near the corner of North Street, a serious disturbance would ensue. The next thing they had at that place was a man being arrested by the police. They had the evidence of Head-Constable Henderson, who said he saw a policeman struck with a stick on the head. He arrested that man, and while engaged with him he received the wound in the forehead which they had seen when the head-constable was examined. That appeared to him (the coroner) to be the commencement of the riot.
They found Mr. Redmond and the mounted constable going down the street towards the chapel, were the evidence went to show stone throwing had begun between the Protestant party and the processionists, and where the latter party soon afterwards threw stones at the police. His opinion was, that unless the resident magistrate was the immediate promoter of the disturbance himself, it was his duty to suppress it as soon as possible, and by every means in his power. Accordingly, they found him attempting in the first instance to ride into the crowd. He appears not to have been able to do anything effectually. Stones were thrown by the processionists, and they had it in the evidence of Sub-Inspector Barry, or some of the police, that stones were apparently specially aimed at him, but whether they struck him or not they had not heard.
The result of all this was, that the county inspector despatched Sub-Inspector Barry with a party of twenty-eight armed police to the place, and there the sub-inspector, seeing what was going on, sent a few of the men to the front to endeavour to make arrests, and drive back the people. The police then charged, but had to retire. Indeed, the evidence of the only witness produced on behalf of the next of kin stated that the police charged for two or three yards but were compelled to retreat or at least retire to the side of the road. Were the police who are in the service of the Queen, were the magistrates whose duty it was to protect the public peace and suppress riots to give way under such circumstances and allow the riot to proceed without exercising the power which they had to suppress it ? He remembered that the magistrates who did not put the power vested in them into force in the case of the Bristol riots, were put upon their trial afterwards because they did not use sufficient means for the purpose of suppressing them.
There were special acts of Parliament to indemnify and protect all magistrates and policemen from the consequences of suppressing the riot no matter how serious; and every person who interfered with the police of the magistrates in carrying out what measures were deemed advisable, was liable to be convicted of a misdemeanour and sent to prison for a period of two years. But what took place on this occasion ? Mr. Redmond gave the order to fire at the time the riot was going on, the stone-throwing having continued after the police charged. The order to fire was communicated to the men by the sub-inspector, who, at the same time, told two of them to stand out and fire a round each. The shots were fired, and they did not appear to have taken any effect, at least the evidence produced here did not go to show that any effect was produced by that discharge. They might, or might not. For all they knew it might have been one of these shots that killed the boy, for it was impossible to distinguish, from the evidence, the particular shot which had the fatal effect. The stone-throwing did not cease after the first two shots were fired, and the resident magistrate gave orders for two more rounds. These were fired without the order being given through the sub-inspector, and Mr. Redmond afterwards gave orders to fire another shot. The whole thing seemed to occupy but a brief time, and simultaneously with the firing of the last shot Mr. Redmond gave the order to cease firing, so that in all five shots were fired. If they believed the evidence the police charged and were driven back, and as the rioters were still charging the magistrate gave the order to fire, and then he repeated that order. Having regard to all the circumstances of the case he did not see how they could come to any other conclusion than that the firing was justifiable. That however was a matter for their consideration. He had explained the law to them as well as he could, and he had briefly stated the facts as well as he could, and they would deal with the facts as jurors; and it was now for them to consider, in the circumstances of the case, what verdict they would give. The verdict would be theirs, not his.

The jury then retired, and, after a few minutes deliberation, returned into court.
The CORONER – You say, gentlemen, that twelve of you have agreed to a verdict, and that eleven of you have disagreed. Is that so ?
The FOREMAN – Yes, it is.
The CORONER – Is there no chance of you all agreeing ?
The FOREMAN – Not the slightest.
Mr. DUFFY (a juror) – There is not the slightest chance of us agreeing, since Mr. McCullough, the foreman, was gagging the jury instead of anything else. He assumed the authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and would only allow those whom he chose to say a word, instead of endeavouring to bring his fellow jurors with him. I must respectfully submit that he has exceeded his duty in this case.
The FOREMAN – I deny any such a charge. I gave everyone a hearing, but I prevented interruptions, and tried to preserve order as well as I could.
The CORONER then read the verdict as follows : –

“We find that the deceased, John Furfey, on the 15th August, 1879, at Lurgan, in the parish of Shankill, County Armagh, a male bachelor, aged twelve, being the son of a labourer, came by his death by a stray ball while the constabulary were firing on a riotous mob under the command of Captain Redmond, R.M.; and we deeply regret that an innocent boy, in no way a participator in the riot, lost his life, and we hereby express our sympathy with the deceased’s relatives.”

Mr. DUFFY – That was the only form of verdict that was submitted to the jury.
The CORONER thanked the jury for their attendance, and discharged them.
It was understood that the form of verdict returned by the minority of the jury was as follows : –

“We find that the deceased, John Furfey, came by his death by a gunshot wound inflicted by a policeman, under the orders of Captain Redmond, who, we find, had no justification for so firing.”

 

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