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Death of young girl shot during Dublin Lockout

Armed labourers delivering coal opened fire on crowd

Published: 3 January 1914

Alice Brady, the 16-year-old Dublin girl who was shot in on Mark Street in Dublin’s south inner-city in December, has died in hospital. Ms. Brady was suffering from lockjaw caused by a bullet wound.

A Dublin labourer, Patrick Traynor, has been charged with her murder and was remanded in custody yesterday at the Southern Police Court. Mr. Traynor had been delivering coal for Messrs. Robinson, merchants. 

The inquest into Ms. Brady’s death, held at the City Morgue yesterday, has heard conflicting accounts of what happened on Mark Street.

Mr. Traynor claimed on arrest: ‘I did not fire the shot at the girl at all. I did not see the girl. It was the cause of the belt I got in the arm that the shot went off.’

Evidence given to the court by Police-Constable Allen said that he was escorting the coal delivery when it passed down Mark Street. On the street, there was a hostile crowd and a man struck a horse. That horse then started, and was soon followed by a second.

Constable Allen said that he considered his life to be in danger from the hostile crowd that had gathered and that he also considered the lives of the men delivering the coal to be in danger. Constable Allen’s evidence was supported by another policeman, Constable Sherry.

Mr Traynor has been accused of murdering 16 year old Alice Brady in the course of delivering coal. Over the course of the lock-out, coal deliveries like the one in which Mr Traynor was involved, as these documents illustrate, have required police or military protection. Click on the documents to enlarge (Photo: National Archives of Ireland, CSO RP 5277)

This evidence was directly contradicted by other witnesses, however. Alexander G. Kennedy, a foreman employed by Dublin Corporation, told the court that his evidence had previously been suppressed. Mr. Kennedy told the inquest that he saw Mr. Traynor fire two shots, one of which was directed towards where a group of women were standing.

He said he asked a man who appeared to be in charge, did he know that Mr. Traynor had a revolver? The man replied that he did and that its use was justified. Mr. Kennedy then told the inquest that he said to Mr. Traynor: ‘You fool, why did you shoot?’ and that he replied: ‘I did it in accordance with instructions.’

Under cross-examination, Mr. Kennedy told the court that there had been no stone-throwing at all and that it was ridiculous to suggest that the hostility of the crowd was such as to make it necessary for the policeman or any of the coalmen to draw a revolver to defend their lives.

Mr. Kennedy’s evidence was supported by other witnesses, Patrick Ennis and Kate Nolan.

The coroner’s jury found that Ms. Brady died from lockjaw following a wound caused by a revolved shot fired by Mr. Traynor who, they believed, had not intended to do bodily harm, but rather wished to frighten off a hostile crowd.

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.