Royal Commission report day 21 page 5

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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

7774.7370 Did you see Mr. O'Connor during this period of excitement?— No, I saw him on the platform when the horses were being taken out, about that time; not afterwards through the day until about half-past two or three o'clock.

7774.7371 Where were you stationed?— I was on the west end, next Benalla. The fire was kept up. Through this firing I heard Mr. Hare sing out, “ O'Connor , get your boys and surround the house.”

7774.7372 Was he replied to?— I heard no reply. He then said, “Get round the house, boys,” apparently addressing himself to us, “and do not let them get away.” At about that time he was joined by Senior-Constable Kelly, and he said “For God's sake, see that the men are all right, and do not let them (the outlaws) get away.” When he said, addressing us, “Surround the house,” I and Hero went together around to the west end of the house, and kept getting round till we were stopped by the next fire from the front.

7774.7373 Was that towards the stockyard at the back of the house?— Yes, round at the west end; not exactly at the north end, pretty well round the corner.

7774.7374 You see the plan there?— Yes, that is the clear road by the station master's house. I was a little higher up than there, because, being a clear space, I could see more ground up and down, and could command more ground.

7774.7375 Who was the next south of you, more towards the railway line—what constable?— At that time it was either Kirkham Gascoigne, I could not say which. I could hear them there speaking, and knew their voices.

7774.7376 Was there heavy firing immediately after you took your position?— There was a man sung out—Gascoigne sung out to stop firing because there were women in the house.

7774.7377 What time was it?— About ten minutes perhaps—very soon after we took our positions.

7774.7378 Did the women come out?— Mrs. Jones came out, and walked all over the ground abusing the men.

7774.7379 What was the nature of her abuse?— Called us “murdering hounds,” and said we had shot her boy, and to take out all the rest of the family and shoot them. I also heard her go in, and apparently abuse the outlaws as well, and say why did not they go out and fight.

7774.7380 When was Mr. Hare struck?— Very, very soon after—I should suppose the first or second shot—because in passing me, he said, “Good gracious! I am hit the very first shot.” I was perhaps four or five yards from him in a straight line with him passing the house.

7774.7381 You were aware he was hit?— From what he said himself.

7774.7382 Did he give any other orders to you that you are aware of?— No, not then.

7774.7383 Did he at any other time during the day?— I believe he went away then, after he was wounded. The only orders he gave to me were in the train, and the general order to the men when he was on the field.

7774.7384 You consider he left then?— Yes; I did not see him leave.

7774.7385 What was the general order on the field?— Singing out to us to surround the house, and not to let the outlaws get away.

7774.7386 You heard that?— Yes.

7774.7387 Did he say that to Senior-Constable Kelly?— He told Kelly to go and see the men were there, and that a ring was made round the house.

7774.7388 Did you see any other woman come out besides Mrs. Jones?— No, but I heard a female screaming getting away. I understand it was Mrs. Reardon . She went away next the platform.

7774.7389 Did you understand there were a lot of persons in the house, kept there by the Kellys?— No.

7774.7390 When did you first come to know that?— Not till I saw the prisoners rush out in the morning I saw other persons leave. The station master did while the firing was going on, and another man named Neil McHugh , taking Mrs. Jones 's boy in his arms.

7774.7391 Did you see him?— Yes.

7774.7392 Were they running away?— They walked out deliberately, as far as I could see. Mr. Stanistreet , the station master, was challenged by Senior-Constable Kelly, “Who goes there,” and he said, “Station master,” and he went right through.....

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