Inquest verdict: James Nolan killed by police baton
Fund to support families of dead strikers
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Lorcan Sherlock, presided over a meeting in the Mansion House last night to establish a fund to support the families of James Nolan and John Byrne.
Mr. Nolan and Mr. Byrne died from the injuries they received in disturbances between police and strikers at the end of August. Mr. Nolan left behind five young children and a widow. The establishment of the fund came as an inquest into Mr. Nolan’s death returned a verdict that death was due to a fracture of the skull caused by the blow of a baton.
The inquest also deemed the evidence on who administered the fatal blow to be too contradictory to reach judgment. In the course of the inquest, a witness named Patrick Carton gave evidence that he was on Eden Quay when he was caught in a police baton charge: ‘I heard a crash and on looking forward I saw a policeman jump in front of a man who was on his knees. The policeman’s number was 224C. Before he got the blow, Nolan was walking on the road in front of me. After the blow Nolan fell on his knees.’ Mr. Carton then recalled seeing Mr. Nolan on the ground: ‘Nolan was lying on his back, he was bleeding from the nostrils and the mouth and he was bruised about the head and face. One eye was completely closed. He was perfectly senseless.’
While giving his evidence, Inspector Campbell was asked whether Constable 224C was present at the time of the baton charge. He replied: ‘I believe he was not, and I have gone to a great deal of trouble to prove that he was not there.’
Asked why he had gone to such trouble, inspector Campbell replied: ‘In the interests of justice. I am not an anarchist.’ When he was called to give evidence, Constable Bell – whose number was 224C – was asked whether he was aware that three men had given evidence that he had struck James Nolan. He replied: ‘Yes, but I was in Store Street station at the time.’