Midleton, Friday.The inquest concerning the death of Sub-constable Patrick Sheedy, (who was shot dead by the Fenians
here on Tuesday night), was held in the Midleton Courthouse, at half past nine o clock this morning before Mr. Henry Barry,
Coroner, and the following jury, which had been enpanelled the previous morning:
Denis M'Carthy, (foreman), Martin Delany, Daniel Sisk, Maurice Brien, Maurice Quirk, John Laughton, John Kennealy, John
Grady, Edmond Barry, Thos. Prendiville, Michael Ronayne, Wm. Ahern, Wm. J. Pugh, Hamilton Cott, and Barry Durham.
There was scarcely one person unconnected, officially or professionally, with the enquiry present.
Mr. EF Ryan, RM.; Mr. T Garde, JP.; and the Rev. Dr. Quarry occupied seats upon the Bench. Mr. Wyse, Sub-Inspector of
the district, was also present.
Mr. P OConnell, Sessional Crown Prosecutor, attended on behalf of the crown.
The jurors having answered to their names, the first witness was called.
Patrick Greany, acting-constable, stationed at Midleton who deposedI was out on patrol on the night of Tuesday, the 5th
March, and under my command, I had the deceased, Patrick Sheedy, Sub-constable O Donnell, and Sub-constable O Brien.
We went out about half-past nine o clock. We went first to the Main-street, up as far as Dr. Johnson's house, across the
Cork-bridge, and a little on the Cork road. We then turned back and walked up to Mr. Green's gate leisurely. I never
expected what occurred. O Donnell and myself were in front, and Sheedy and O Brien in rere. We remained there in ambush
for a few minutes. Before this, I saw some people at the bridge. I spoke to them, and asked them to go home. They said they
A JurorDid you know any of them?
CoronerJust wait a while. We'll go on with the direct evidence first. (To Mr. O'Connell)Unless you consider it important.
Mr. O'ConnellWe must find it out. It will be of immense consequence bye and bye.
WitnessThe first thing I noticed was a number of persons coming up towards us from the Main-street.
Mr. O'ConnellTo the best of your belief how many were there?
WitnessTo the best of my belief, about forty persons, in regular marching order. I first noticed a man marching in front of the
party, to the right hand. He stepped forward and called out to us to surrender in the name of the Irish Republic. That man was
Timothy Daly, who is now dead. He then caught Sub-constable O'Donnell's rifle with one hand.
CoronerWith what hand?
WitnessI can't tell whether it was his right or his left. He had something in the other hand, which he presented at O'Donnell.
They had a tussle for the rifle. I then saw the party come round, making a circle, so as to cover the police, and they fired a
CoronerYou were alongside the wall?
WitnessYes, sir. The circle was formed by the men heading straight across about the centre of the road. They formed a circle
(or semi-circle) of about eight or ten yards.
Mr. O'ConnellWhen you say they fired a volley, about how many shots would you say?
WitnessTo the best of my belief there was about forty shots fired.
Mr. O'ConnellTogether?Yes, together.
CoronerWere they instantly fired?
WitnessAt once, sir. As soon as Daly caught the rifle.
Mr. O'ConnellDid you observe what sort of firearms they had?
WitnessI could not say, sir.
Mr. O'ConnellCould you say whether they were rifles, carbines or revolvers?
WitnessI could not say, sit, it was so dark. I saw them presenting.
CoronerWhat followed then?We turned then towards the Chapel road, the four of us.
CoronerDid you run?Yes Sir.Then deceased must have run with you?
WitnessYes, sir, for a short distance, after which I heard the deceased say "Oh, oh, oh." He ran for a short distance, after
which I saw him drop his rifle. He was about ten or twelve yards. I left him after [ . . . ]
mark was left on the knee (shows it). I also felt the cap turn on my head, and in the morning I found the cap perforated ( cap
produced). When going up the Chapel Road, several shots were fired after me. I went up as far as the smith's house. I also
found my pouch bored, or the edge of it battered and damaged; I found inside that the pouch had prevented the ball going
through me. It was marked, I think, from a ball.
CoronerYou had a very narrow escape, at all events. Where did you go then?
WitnessI went down through the fields by the river, and took a shelter in a little house belonging to Mr. Green, where I
remained till six in the morning, when I asked Mr. Green to go with me. I met O Brien on my road and brought him with me. I
asked O Brien was he loaded and he said not. I then told him to load and fix his bayonet.
CoronerDid any of you return the fire?
WitnessI did, sir, up near the Chapel Cross.
CoronerAt a blank object?
WitnessYes, sir, at random.
Mr. Ryan, RMI am glad you asked that, Mr. Coroner, because an impression has gone abroad, which I know to be very
erroneous, that they went out without ammunition.
Mr. O'ConnellOn ordinary patrols are you loaded?
Mr. O'ConnellAnd this was an ordinary patrol you went out upon that night?
Mr O'ConnellAnd therefore you were not loaded?
Mr. O'ConnellThen at the time of the attack upon you, and the discharge of the volley, you were not loaded?
WitnessNo, sir. We had not time to load. We had our ordinary ammunition out, so that if we had time, we could have
CoronerYou had no previous expectation of the attack?
Mr. O'ConnellWere you inspected by your superior officeryou and your ammunitionin accordance with the usage of the
service, before you went out?Yes, sir. Where was it you loaded?At the cross, sir, and subsequently when I got into the
fields. Did you know whether the party who attacked you at the bridge had dispersed, when you got into the fields; or did you
know what way they had gone?I did not know, sir. I thought they would have gone towards Ballinacurra.
Mr. RyanIn point of fact, he thought they were following him.
Mr. O'ConnellWhen Daly called on you to surrender in the name of the Irish Republic, did you refuse?I did not say a
word, sir. I was stunned. The seizure of the rifle took place immediately. It was while the tussle was going on about the rifle that
the volley was discharged.
A Juror (Mr. Barry)Then Daly was in as much danger from the shots as you were?
WitnessNo, for the attacking party had formed a circle so as to put Daly in his right place again.
CoronerYou and your men were standing near the gate where I saw the marks of the bullets?Yes, sir. The circle was
formed round, half the road across, and from that circleam I right in stating the firing took place?Yes.
A JurorWas it at the time the volley was fired Sheedy received the wound?
WitnessYes. That was the time I heard him say "Oh, oh", and saw him drop his rifle.
CoronerWhich were they opposite the Bank or opposite Mr. Ashlin's house?
WitnessOpposite the red house, sir.
CoronerBecause one of the shots appears to have perforated the gate obliquely, and the others are flat against the wall.
By a JurorDid you and your party, when coming from the bridge, call at the barrack?Yes.Who did you see?The
Head-constableFor what did you call there?I told him of the persons who were knocking about the townWhat did the
Head-constable say?He told me to knock about the town as usual.
Mr. Wyse, SIDid he say "knock about town"?
WitnessHe said to patrol about town, as usual.
Mr. WyseExactly. I would be ashamed to head a Head-constable tell his men to "knock about the town".
JurorDid you think those persons were likely to do you harm?
CoronerYou see he said before, he did not apprehend anything of the kind.To a JurorIt was "Skellig Night" and upon
that night persons are in the habit of knocking about.
A Juror did not see why they should go into this man's conduct on the occasion. He had a superior officer who would attend to
that. The jury, he thought, had only to enquire into the death of the deceased.
Mr. O'ConnellYou are quite right, sir.
CoronerWell, gentlemen, the question is whether after what this man has stated you are satisfied with his evidence upon it. If
you are, we'll give you the doctor's.
A JurorJust so. There is no use occupying all our time all day.
The Coroner expressed his surprise that more of the police had not been shot. A Juror said he thought it was alleged Daly had
Mr. O'ConnellIt is not certain at all. There was another investigation yesterday, which showed that it could not have been the
shot fired by Daly killed Sheedy.
The Coroner said it was a satisfaction to know that the unfortunate man who was shot was the person who had the tussle.
Mr. O'ConnellThat is the reason why his name was mentioned. Because he was no more.
Edmund Crowley, labourer, residing at Chapel Road, Midleton, was next examined. He deposed he had not gone to bed, on
Tuesday night, when he heard the alarm, and he went out with another young man to see what it was. They went down the
town, and saw a man stretched upon the path. They did not at that time know who it was; they thought it was a drunken man.
His legs were in the channel, and his body lying across the path. They then went to see who it was, and by his clothes they
knew him to be a policeman. They went to a house for a light, and returning with it found the man lying on the path was the
deceased. He was lying partly on the side, but his face was inclined to the ground.
Mr. O'ConnellIt was singular that Daly was found in a similar position.
CoronerWas he quite dead?We fancied he was warm, but he had no breath in him as far as we could make out. We went
and called the priest then, who was at Mr. Coppinger's. By direction of the priest, we went for the doctor. I then assisted in
taking him to the barrack.
Mr. O'ConnellFrom the first time you saw the body until you accompanied it to the barrack, were there any symptoms of life
WitnessNo, sir. When the doctor came, he said he was dead. I knew the deceased for a long time.
CoronerI believe a quieter or milder policeman never was in the force?
WitnessThat is the character of him, sir.To a JurorI did not hear a shot fired at the Chapel Cross. It could have been
fired without my hearing it.To Mr. O'ConnellI saw some person coming down from the Chapel Cross, but I could not say
whether it was a policeman or not. From what Constable Greany says, I think it must have been him.To the CoronerThe
deceased was married, and leaves a wife and seven children.
Mr. WyseAll very young, too.