Royal Commission report day 21 page 6

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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

7774.7393 You did not see the police attempting to fire on any going out?— No.

7774.7394 Did you see Reardon himself?— No.

7774.7395 Where you were stationed you were not in a favorable position to see who was at the front door?— No.

7774.7396 Until they got away?— Until they got away.

7774.7397 While you were there, what time did you receive any orders from any officers after Mr. Hare went away?— Not until the house was going to be set fire to.

7774.7398 So far as you know, the police were without orders till the house was set fire to?— I under stood one man was in command; that would be in accordance with the regulations.

7774.7399 Who did you understand was?— Up to the time Mr. Sadleir came, Senior-Constable Kelly.

7774.7400 Did he give any instructions at all?— He came round to me with ammunition, and told me to keep my position, as it was a good one.

7774.7401 What time was that?— Half-an-hour after the firing commenced.

7774.7402 That was before daylight?— Yes.

7774.7403 When did you receive any other instructions or order?— There was word passed round, but no order given, for the ranks to fire high. I do not know what time that was.

7774.7404 Did you notice the effect of the firing upon the house?— Yes.

7774.7405 Were the boards much riddled?— Yes; considerably riddled, and the roof as well.

7774.7406 Were the walls riddled as badly as the roof?— I do not think it. Of course the roof made more noise—the bullets going through—being iron.

7774.7407 You would see it before the house was set fire to?— A person would have to be very close to form a good idea; of course the bullets made a bigger rent going through the iron roof, and it being slanting too.

7774.7408 Did you know anything about the arrangements that were being made to set fire to the house?— Yes, I was told a little about it. I was one of the men that was covering Senior-Constable Johnson when he went to set fire to the house.

7774.7409 Were you in the same position then that you were in in the morning?— No.

7774.7410 How did you come to change?— Senior-Constable Mullane came round and told me to come to the front of the house and fire into it while Johnson set fire to it at the end near the chimney—that is, at the wost end.

7774.7411 Then you got your instructions from Senior-Constable Mullane?— He said Mr. Sadleir said so.

7774.7412 Was it understood that the outlaws were in the chimneys of the house—was it thought so?— I never heard it said so.

7774.7413 Did you see the chimneys as they stood?— Yes.

7774.7414 Would you consider that they kind been greatly riddled with shot?— No, not greatly riddled.

7774.7415 Very few marks upon them?— Very few indeed.

7774.7416 Would you consider a man a good marksman who said he and others were told to fire into bricks to try and bring down the chimney, and yet left so few marks behind?— He ought to leave a few.

7774.7417 How many rounds of ammunition did you fire that day, to your recollection?— About twenty-five.

7774.7418 What were you armed with?— A Martini carbine—a short carbine.

7774.7419 That took in a bullet?— Yes.

7774.7420 You considered that every shot you fired went through the walls?— Yes. I was being fired on all the morning, else I would not have fired so much. I was preserving my ammunition, thinking I would want it before night.

7774.7421 Were there others standing, about, not firing at all?— Yes, plenty; there were men that did not fire a shot.

7774.7422 Why did they not?— Because, I suppose, their shot guns would not be of any use at that distance; I believe that was the reason.

7774.7423 That they were reserving their fire till the outlaws came out?— Yes.

7774.7424 Were those belonging to Mr. Hare's first party that went up with you, or men that joined subsequently?— There were none of Mr. Hare's party, because I believe there were but one or two shot guns in Mr. Hare's party.

7774.7425 Was there never a general order given to fire?— No, I never heard any general order to fire. There was a signal to be given when the house was set fire to, but no other occasion.

7774.7426 Did you fire without an order, or what caused you to fire?— I fired it when I was fired at by the outlaws. I thought of no other time.....

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