The Complete Inner History of the KellyGang and their Pursuers (77)

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Very Rev Dean Gibney’s evidence continued:—“There is one thing which is hardly relevant to the matter. There was a report spread at the time, after I had been attending to Ned Kelly. Of course, I was a very considerable time with him before I moved out at all, trying to prepare him for his last hour, because I thought he was in a dying state—the doctor could not give a deciding opinion as to the result. After that I came out and heard there was a report he was cursing and swearing just soon after I came out. I said, ‘My labour is lost if that is the case,’ and I made my way back and asked the policeman in charge of him to tell me was he making use of any bad language or was he disturbed. He said, ‘No.’ and I asked Kelly himself, and he said, ‘No.’ Then I came out and challenged the parties, and said the man was bad enough, and not to tell lies about him, and afterwards I found it had been telegraphed, but these are points that are of no importance. I forgot to mention anything about Cherry, the man that was taken out of the house. I was aware that he was wounded in the house almost from my going there. Some parties met me and told me this man, a platelayer, was shot by the fire of the police upon the house and he was wounded, and I knew from their information that he could not possibly come out, that he was inside incapable of moving himself, and yet they said he had not died. Well, I did not find him in any of these three rooms. I came to where the bodies of the outlaws were, and I had already passed through the house, and it was a party who had been bailed up with him who knew where he was and ran and took him out.”(RC12346)

Question.—From an outhouse?—I fancy so. I believe he would have been burned; that he is the only one that would have been burned alive if I had not come up.

Question.—You mean that he was the only one whose life would have been sacrificed by the effect of the fire?—Yes.

Question.—You saw him when he was brought out?—Yes; I attended to him as well as I could, and administered the sacrament of my own church to him as far as I could.

Question.—He made some remarks?—Not to me. He seemed to be conscious, but not able to speak.

Question.—You said you went in at the front and not at the back; did you not afterwards appear at the front door, and hold up your hands in this manner (explaining by gesture)?—No, it was at the back. When I was going in I held up my hands, and kept my hands in such a position going into the house, so that the parties observing me might perhaps be justified in saying that I came back from the fact that I turned back from the room I first entered, because I was standing between the people and the blaze, and every movement of mine, I believe, they could see with the strong light that was beyond me. They might in the excitement of the time think I came out. I did not come out of the house at the front.

Question.—Did you appear at the door?—No.

Question.—What intimation had the police from the front that it was all over that caused them to go up to the house?—When I saw the others running to the other side, I suppose I called out to the police. They were on my right hand as I went up. After I came out I turned to them and called out. I dare say they were watching anxiously, and the first of that party then came running, and they all rushed after. I did not come outside the house until I came out of the back. The witness withdrew.

The Very Rev Dean Gibney Further examined July 6, 1881

Questioned by the Commission? — Mr Sadleir, who had charge of the police at the taking of the Kellys, thinks, that some of your statements might be prejudicial to him, and he desired some questions to be put to you; and he has given the written questions here so as to elucidate his meaning in any possible way that can be done? — I may remark that if any word of mine would wound, which is not necessary for truth, I hereby desire to record my wish to blot it out. (RC12769)

Question — The Commission considers that you did exactly what was your duty in everything that you said, even if a wrong impression has been created. Mr Sadleir was not present, and he desires that these questions may be put. That is the whole thing, and we thought it well to have the matter brought under your notice; and we are much obliged to you for coming again. I will just put the questions as they have been written down, and those are the questions you are supposed to reply to.

The first question is: Were you aware before your arrival at Glenrowan on June 28, 1880, that all the innocent persons except Cherry had left Mrs Jones’ two hours or so before? — I was aware on my arrival there. I became aware of it soon - at least that the innocent people had been allowed to remove from the house some time about half-past nine or ten o’clock - some two hours before I came that would be; but I heard there was one wounded man there. I believe it was Cherry.

The second question is: When did you learn that I was (that is, Mr Sadleir) the principal officer on the ground, and where was I then? — I could not say for certain whether I learned the name of the officer in charge before the time the Kellys’ sister came on the ground. Then I knew for certain, as I made inquiries in order to find the officer in charge.

The second portion of the question is: And where was Mr Sadleir then — I was directed to Mr Sadleir then by parties on the cordon, the line of the police in the direction in which I found that Mr Sadleir was not then.

The third question is: Where were you mostly from your arrival at twelve o’clock until the time approached when the house was set fire to? — I might have been perhaps an hour, or it may be more - an hour and a half, perhaps - in attendance on Ned Kelly. In my endeavour to get to him I was, perhaps, ten or fifteen minutes before I could get in, and then I was, I dare say, three-quarters of an hour with him, attending to him with my own duties. It might be more, but I believe it was not short of that time. After that time I went over to the hotel on the opposite side and spent about perhaps five or seven minutes there; it might be more. I met a reverend gentleman there of the Church of England (Rev. Mr Rodda), and we walked down to where the line of railway had been torn up, and then came back to the railway station.

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This document gives you the text of this book about the KellyGang. The text has been retyped from a copy of the original. We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged. We also apologise for any typographical errors. JJ Kenneally was one of the first authors to tell this story from the KellyGang's point of view

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