Royal Commission report day 16 page 2

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The Royal Commission evidence for 5/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 16)

Constable Thomas Patrick Dowling giving evidence

4190 Did he say Mr. Hare was led to believe you were down there?— No.

4191 He gave you no reason?— Yes, he said he told Constable Duross to tell Mr. Hare that I, Armstrong, and Sherritt were over at Byrne's place watching, and that the reason he and Alexander had remained behind was that Aaron Sherritt thought it too light for them to go with us.

4192 Did he suggest to you then that having told that to Mr. Hare it was absolutely necessary for you to go on?— Yes, he told us to clear out. I told him there was no necessity to tell Mr. Hare a lie, and to tell the truth. He then said to me “it go on, and do as I tell you.” I and Armstrong then left and had taken up our posts some three or four minutes previous to Mr. Hare coming along.

4193 You obeyed that command?— Yes, when I saw Mr. Hare I was going to stand up, but he made a sign to me to remain where I was, and passed on to Constable Armstrong. I do not know what took place between Mr. Hare and Armstrong .

4194 Go on with your narrative in your own way, and tell what came within your own knowledge on that occasion?— That was all.

4195 You stayed there all that night?— Yes.

4196 And returned to Sherritt's?— Yes, about three o'clock in the morning.

4197 You saw nothing else before that?— No.

4198 You were doing nothing all the day?— No, we were supposed to remain in all the day.

4199 Mr. Hare returned to Sherritt's with you?— No, he left us at Byrne's.

4200 And you and Armstrong returned to Sherritt's?— We remained at Byrne's till three o'clock in the morning, and then returned to Sherritt's.

4201 Did anything further occur before the night on which Sherritt was shot?— No, not that I am aware of.

4202 How long was that before he was shot?— That was the Saturday night previous his being shot.

4203 When was he shot?— Saturday night.

4204 Then nothing particular occurred during that week?— No.

4205 Just the usual duties?— Yes.

4206 Will you just relate to the Commission what occurred upon the night when Aaron Sherritt was shot?— —

The Witness was requested to withdraw.

The Commission deliberated in regard to the reported appointment of Mr. O' Connor to the position of Inspector in the North-Eastern district.

Constable Thomas Patrick Dowling further examined.

4207 By the Commission. —Will you just relate to the Commission, in your own way, what occurred upon the night upon which Aaron Sherritt was shot?— On that particular night I and constables Armstrong and Alexander were in the bedroom. Constable Duross , Aaron Sherritt , and his wife, were in the kitchen, having tea.

4208 And Mrs. Barry?— Yes, was in the kitchen also. I was lying on the bedroom floor when I heard a voice outside, at the rear of the hut, saying “ Aaron Sherritt , I have lost my way, I want you to put me on the road.” Then heard Sherritt say (this was giving me and my mates to understand that he knew who was outside), “It is only Anthony Weekes , a German that lives over the creek, he is in the habit of going astray when he gets drunk.” Mrs. Sherritt then said to Sherritt, “Go on and show him the way, and do not keep him waiting out there.” I then heard the back door opening, and heard Sherritt say, “Do you see that sapling over there?” when there were two shots fired, and the words “bail up” were heard in a loud tone of voice three or four times. I then heard Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Sherritt screaming, and saying, “Oh Joe, why did you shoot Aaron . Oh Joe do not shoot me.” He then asked, “Who is that gone in there, in that room?” Mrs. Sherritt said, “It is a man that is looking for work, named Duross.” He then called upon him to come out, several times, and commenced whistling as if signalling to some one to come to his assistance, when there was another shot fired in the front door, I believe by Dan Kelly . I then heard a voice at the rear of the hut saying, “Who fired that shot?” and I heard the reply outside of the front door saying, “I did”; and the man then at the rear of the hut said, “It is all right.” He then told the women to throw the doors open and come outside, and they did so. I and my mates kept a sharp look out into the kitchen. We were at the bedroom door looking in, and also out through the kitchen doors when they were thrown open, but could see nothing outside but darkness. Armstrong then said to me, “What about rushing?” I said, “Yes, I will rush, ask your other mates.”....

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