1893 December 1 Freemans Journal
THE ALLEGED ASSAULT ON ORANGEMEN AT BALLYCRUMMIE.
THE CHARGE DISMISSED.
At the Armagh Petty Sessions today, before W.L. Townsend, R. M; Philip Lavery, JP; John Compton, J.P.; and Robert J. McCrum, J.P.
Joseph Prentice summoned John Oliver sen., and Matthew Lennon, Nationalists, for an alleged assault on 6 November last at Ballycrummie, near Armagh. A similar summons was brought by John Burdon against John Oliver, jr., and James Oliver, Nationalists.
Messrs Best and Gibb, solicitors, appeared for complainants in both cases, which were taken separately, and Mr. Gillespie, solicitor, appeared for the defence.
Joseph Prentice being examined by Mr. Best, stated that he had left Oulart Orange Lodge on a brake, in company with some friends en route for Killilea. He had some drink in Killilea, and stopping with some friends there he missed the brake and had to walk home. He left Killilea, and proceeded home by Ballycrummie, wearing his orange sash. He was accompanied by Burdon, will also missed the brake. When he got the length of Ballycrummie, he saw Matthew Lennon and John Oliver, sen., who knocked him down. Lennon ordered him to take off his sash. He refused, and Lennon took it off him. The reason he did not bring the summons earlier was because he could not find the defendant’s names.
Cross-examined by Mister Gillespie – he was in a public house in Kililea and had three half ones of whiskey and some lemonade. He was afterwards in another public house. He thought he was perfectly justified in proceeding through a Roman Catholic district, sporting his Orange sash.
John Burdon, examined by Mister Gibb, gave evidence similar to Prentice, and on being cross-examined by Mister Gillespie, said he also had some drink in Killilea. He was before the court previously for being drunk and also on a charge of larceny. They fought as well as they could, at Ballycrummie as he thought proper to wear his colours through that Catholic district.
James Oliver, jr, was examined for the defence. He said he was coming out of a quarry with a horse and cart on the evening of 6th November. He met Prentice and Burdon and they asked him where Ned Donnelly lived. He said he did not know. Then they both raced at him and knocked him down and said they could beat any – – who played in Ballycrummie band. Prentice then [flourished?] his orange sash in witness’s face, and told them he would make him swallow it. Witness then called for help, when his father, John Oliver and his brother Jack came to his assistance. His father caught hold of them and separated them, and told his two sons to go away and attend to their work, and they then went away. His father lifted the complainants’ hats off the road and put them on their owners’ heads.
Cross-examined by Mister Best – he did not know where the sashes were now. He would solemnly swear that he did not see them in Mister Gillespie’s office that morning.
Michael Hannan deposed to seeing Prentice hitting Oliver across the mouth with the threads of his sash, and that neither Burdon nor Prentice were knocked down, nor did he hear any revolver shots fired, nor see a revolver with anyone.
James McCormick, being examined, corroborated last witness’s evidence.
Mr. Townsend, R.M, in giving the decision after a short consultation with his brother magistrates, said the bench was unanimously of the opinion that the prosecutors had been the promoters of the disturbance and consequently the case would be dismissed.
Mister Best then said he would withdraw the second case, as he had decided not to go on with it.
A great amount of interest was taken in the case.
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