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Ballingeary Riots

Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 August 1907

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To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the fact that Sergeant M'Elligott, of Ballingeary, stated in his sworn evidence both at Limerick and Cork Assizes that certain specified persons were present at and took part in what are known as the Ballingeary riots; is he aware that these persons, to the number of three or four, produced evidence to prove that they were not present at all on the occasions referred to and were acquitted by the jury, and that a special rider to their verdict was added by the jury to the effect that not one of these accused men were present at all; and, seeing that Sergeant M'Elligott was guilty of bearing false witness against these men, will he be indicted for perjury or dismissed, as Sergeant Sheridan was.

I am informed that some of the defendants in the Ballingeary riot case were tried at Limerick winter assizes, and others, who had evaded arrest, were tried at Cork summer assizes. The chief witness against the accused was Sergeant M'Elligott, upon whose evidence thirteen persons in all were convicted or pleaded guilty. Several other defendants were acquitted, not upon the ground that they were not present on the occasion, but simply because it was not shown that they had committed any overt act in connection with the unlawful assembly. The Judge referred to the honesty and impartiality of the police witnesses, and the police authorities have no knowledge of the rider which the jury is stated to have added to their verdict. Upon these facts there appears to be no foundation for the suggestion that Sergeant M'Elligott gave untruthful evidence.