Royal Commission report day 21 page 10

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The Royal Commission evidence for 17/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 21)

Const Barry giving evidence

7774.7513 How long before?— After Sherritt got married up to the beginning of January. I knew then, because I had to go to the house for provisions.

7774.7514 You then knew that after Sherritt was married he did not attend so punctually to his duties?— Yes; I sent in a note to Detective Ward to that effect.

7774.7515 Did you at that time form the opinion that in consequence of there being so many there, and your haying to go for provisions, your existence in the cave was likely to be known?— Yes.

7774.7516 At that time?— Yes.

7774.7517 That would be in the month of December?— Yes; I sent in a note to Detective Ward to that effect.

7774.7518 What do you call a note?— The report was not written; an informal report. That was in the month of December.

7774.7519 Had you previous to that formed any opinion as to the secrecy of that cave party?— Well, I thought it was not known as soon as I thought it was likely to be known. I tried to get out of it, because I did not consider it safe. The Sherritt family were rowing among themselves, and I wanted to get out of it.

7774.7520 Were you at Beechworth on the 2nd April when the whole of the cave party were brought in?— Yes, I was.

7774.7521 Will you describe to us the subject of dispute between the members of that party and Senior-Constable Mullane?— I heard from some of the men that they were called on to make reports, and I went to Senior-Constable Mullane and asked him.

7774.7522 That was the 2nd of April?— Yes; I asked him if I was to make out a report, and he said, “Yes ,” and I asked him what about, as it was an unusual thing; I had never done the same thing, and there must be some object, for it; and he simply told me to go and do as I was told.

7774.7523 That was simply to make out the report?— Yes, about the cave party.

7774.7524 Did he indicate the nature of the report you were to make out?— No; I asked him to show how it started; who the order came from to make out the report. He said that he had got a telegram from Detective Ward telling us to make out reports, but would not show it to me.

7774.7525 Would not show the telegram?— Yes; and also told me to go and do as I was told. Then I made out one of those reports that I handed in the other day.

7774.7526 Is this the report you first sent in—[handing a paper to the witness]?— Yes, that is the first

7774.7527 Just read that?— “North-Eastern Police District, Beechworth Station, April 2nd 1880— Report of Constable Barry, 2710, relative to special duty at Beechworth.—I beg to report, for the information of the Assistant-Commissioner of Police, that I was, on this day, called on by Senior-Constable Mullane to make out a report relative to special duty performed here by me through a telegram received from Detective Ward. The instructions were so vague that I really don't know what to report about, but I am prepared to answer any questions that are put to me relative to this duty, either verbally or in writing.—DANIEL BARRY, 2710. The Assistant-Commissioner of Police, Benalla.”

7774.7528 What became of that?— I handed it to Mullane, and he wrote this memo. on the back of it:— “I have called on Constable Barry, 2710, for a report relative to how the special duty at Sebastopol was performed, and whether it came to his knowledge that the Byrnes or any of the friends of the outlaws were aware of the presence of the police at Sebastopol.”

7774.7529 In consequence of that, what did you do next?— I requested him to forward that report, and have it returned to me from the Superintendent whom it was intended for, as I thought it ought to be. However, he ordered me to make out another, which I did.....

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