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MR W. O'BRIEN'S ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY

♦ EXTRAORDINARY fcOBUTES. The trl»l of Mr William O'Brien, M P., for alleged cfianoeß under the Crimes Aot. commenced at Cirrlok-on-Snlr on Jan. 24, befoie Messrs Bodkin and Oonsidlne, resident magistrates From an earl; hour m the morning large crowdis commenced to assemble m the streets of the town, and throughout the day the greatest excitement prevailed. All organised demoastra | tions had been formally proclaimed, but notwithstanding this a great crowd, variously estimated at from 12,000 to 20,000 persona, blocked the approaches to the Town Hall, and on Me O'Brien arriving at the railway station he was met by various local bodies and presented with addresses of weloomo and sympathy. Mr O'Brien and his frh nds then proceeded to the Ocurt House, but found their w»y to the entrance door blocked by policemen, who, it is contended, w'th unncoessary rudeness and violence refased to •How anyone to pasa excep. Mr O'Brien. That gentleman s^ld m that case he would j not jaove farther, and Mr T. Healy, M.P., hla counsel, -who was with him at- the time, protested against such interference. Thereupon the county inspeotor ordered hie men to fall m, and most exciting and violent scenes eneued. Mr O'Brien was seisnd by a policeman and dragged a distance of thirty yards, protesting loudly the while, and Mr Healy was assaulted and threatened with a bayonet. The crowd attacked the police, who m tarn obarged repeatedly with batons and fixed bayonets, For several minutss the people held their ground, and above the yells of the oombatanta oould be plainly heard the thud of batons and blackthorns. Many of the crowd,, and a few policemen, sustained ng'y but not darjgerous wounds, and blood flowed freely. Finally the disciplined movements of the police prevailed, the orowd were foroed back and some of their ringleaders were arrested. Meanwhile Mr O'Brien and Mr Healy had reaohed the Court House pale and almost breathless, and at once complained of the conduct of the police. Mr O'Brien, man agitated tone, said the county inspector man quite beside himself either from excitement or drink, and he had nearly oaused a bloody riot. He (Mr O'Brien) had been dragged 30 yards without the Brightest cm>e~, Mr Healy said he bsd narrowly escaped with bis life. A bayonet had been pieced to hla breast and a dozen batons had been flburisbed over his head. He would like to know whether they were m a oiviiised country when a lawyer's life was imperilled by the foroea of the Grown when ooming into Court to defend a client. After some remarks from the Bench the oase proceeded! M? O'Brien being charged with hiving on Sept. 30;h last, at Ballynenle, county Tlpparaty, taken part with several persons unknown m an unlawful conspiracy to incite certain persona to withhold payments of rents lawfully due.Theevdenosof witnesses for tbe Grown occupied the Ojurt for hoars, and at its conclusion Mr Healy , for the defendant, applied for summonses to secure the attendance of Lord Salisbury and Mr Balfour, who he maintained had used larjguage similar to that uttered by Mr O'Brien. The Qourt refused the applica tion, and as the decision waa received with sounds of disapprobation from the people m court the police were ordered to clear tho galleries. Thereupon Mr O'Brien and Mr fJealey rose, and said they would | " clear out " also. The Magistrates called upon the police to prevent Mr O'Briea from leaving the court, and amid inf ense excitement and tumult a sergeant s izad the hon gentleman, Mr O'Brien struggled, ard managed to get #way, but at the cost of a torn coat. Helped by those aroun 1 him, Mr O'Brien reached the atreet, and, surrounded and followed by a great crowd, 1 marched through the town. A warrant haying meanwbite been issued against Mr O'Brien, the police made repeated efforts to force their way through the orowd m order to execute it. But the people replied with volleys of etoneß, and several policemen wore injured by mi&eilee, Over and over again the police charged, using their batons freely, but they seemed to make little impression upon the enor mouß mass of men, whose pensions had by this time been aroused to an extraordinary pitch of violenc Several tm- s the police got near Mr O'Brien, and, upon one of these occasions, the hon gentleman received a violent blow m the chest from the butt,endof arifla. Mr O'Brien got oloar away. Fighting continued m the streets all through the evening, and so earjy ac seven o'clock at least 27 persons were under surgical treatment for bayonet wonndp, several cases being very serious. Numerous arrests were -.inade.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890313.2.21

Bibliographic details

MR W. O'BRIEN'S ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2086, 13 March 1889

Word Count
780

MR W. O'BRIEN'S ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2086, 13 March 1889

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