Royal Commission report day 17 page 3

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The Royal Commission evidence for 10/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 17)

Const Dowling giving evidence

4731 Do you know whether he resided there before he was married or not?— I do not think he did.

4732 Do you not know that he lived with his father?— Not that I am aware of.

4733 Seeing Byrne going, as you thought, to inform the outlaws, did it not occur to you to be more careful to set a watch and guard the place?— It made us more careful, and we gave information about his going away. I or Armstrong gave information to the sub-officer at Beechworth, and black trackers were sent out under Constable Kirkham. I believe that Paddy Byrne had returned at daylight in the morning, and they did not take any notice of that, because he had returned.

4734 It would have been easy enough to track him where he went that night?— It would.

4735 They never attempted to follow him?— No, it was not our place to do so.

4736 Do you know, of your own knowledge, whether they did?— I know they did not come out to the hut and track Paddy Byrne.

4737 All you know is that you gave information that Byrne had been seen at two o'clock in the morning, but you do not know what was done in consequence of that?— No, I do not.

4738 You heard that two black trackers and Kirkham were sent out?— I saw them.

4739 Where?— At Beechworth. I had been sent in a night or two afterwards for something.

4740 You heard from them that they had been sent out?— Yes.

4741 Did you see them out?— I did.

4742 Where?— At the Beechworth police station, in the hut there.

4743 Did you see them on the ground where you saw Paddy Byrne?— No.

4744 Could they have come to you or to the place where you saw Paddy Byrne, in front of Sherritt's hut, without you knowing it?— They might have done so, but I do not think they did. I heard Kirkham say they were going back the next day—that they were not going out.

Mr. Hare . —I gave evidence of that on page 89 of my evidence—that Armstrong reported there were no steps taken.

4745 By the Commission (to the witness). —Might Byrne's watching the hut have been more with the view of ascertaining that Sherritt was assisting the police than to find out that the police were really there?— I believe it was to give them the best way to come to the hut.

4746 Is what you want us to understand this, that you believe that man went there to set the hut to bring the outlaws there?— Yes, I believe he did.

4747 Did you think he did so at the time?— I have always thought so since, and did so immediately afterwards—after Sherritt was shot.

4748 Were you at Sherritt's house when the notice came that the Kellys were at Glenrowan?— No, I was at Beechworth; I came in the night previous there.

4749 Were you called away at once to Glenrowan in the morning?— Yes, I was knocked up about three o'clock in the morning to go there.

4750 What time did you arrive there?— Between eight and nine o'clock in the morning.

4751 Were the police surrounding the building when you arrived?— I believe they were.

4752 Did you hear any firing?— I saw one shot as I was coming along in the train previous to arriving at Glenrowan station.

4753 Will you state what you saw in as few words as possible, and what you did yourself. When you arrived were you ordered to any particular place?— We were ordered to go up and surround the Glenrowan house.

4754 How many were there of you?— I do not know, I am sure; about five or six, I think.

4755 What officer gave you the orders?— I think it was Mr. Sadleir.

4756 What did you do when you received orders to go amongst the others?— We went up the hill and took up our post as close as we could to the hotel.

4757 In front or where?— It was the north of the building, I think, not the front.

4758 Do you know what portion of the building looks north—is it the back of the house 1ooks north?— Yes, the back of the house; the side the chimney is on, I think.

4759 There is a chimney on each end, is there not?— That I could not say very well.

4760 There is the plan given to us—[the witness looked at it]—could you say from that the position you occupied when you were at the house?— We took our post at the end nearest Beechworth, that is the north of the hotel.....

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