Lynch v Fitzgerald and Others

Judgment Date30 July 1938
Date30 July 1938
CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
S. C., I.F.S.]
Fitzgerald and others

- Suppression by force - Armed forces of State - Use of firearms - Firing at civilians -Principles governing us of firearms - Whether firing necessary as a last resort.

The plaintiff claimed damages under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1846, for the death of his son, who was killed at Marsh's Yard, Copley Street, Cork, by a bullet fired by one of a group of detectives of the Special Branch of the Civic Guards which included three of the defendants, Moore, Condon and Rogers. The fourth defendant was a Chief Superintendent of the Civic Guards who was in charge of the Civic Guards at Cork. In view of a threatened demonstration against a sale by the sheriff of cattle seized under a warrant from the Irish Land Commission a force of about 200 Guards with about 12 armed detectives was placed outside the yard, and 40 Guards, including 10 ordinary detectives, were placed inside. Instructions were given by the authorities to admit into the yard only the owner of the cattle that were to be sold and his friends and any intending purchasers and representative public men.The said three defendants were, with other members of the Special Branch of the Civic Guards, specially detailed for the protection of certain prospective buyers against whose lives on the occasion of a similar sale threatening words had been used. For some time before the hour fixed for the sale a large crowd of about 1,500 people had collected in Anglesea Street, which is the main street into which Copley Street opens. A lorry filled with men carrying sticks came through the crowd in Anglesea Street, turned into Copley Street, was driven against the several cordons of the Guards and crashed into the gate of the yard breaking through it and finally coming to rest. After a few moments the crowd outside the yard were held in check with the exception of one or two, who succeeded in entering the yard. When the lorry came through the gate the said three defendants opened fire, in the course of which the plaintiff's son was killed. The action was tried by a Judge without a jury pursuant to an order of the Court (reported [1937] I. R. 77). The trial Judge (Hanna, J.) stated the issues of fact raised in the case and his findings as follows:—(1) "Was it necessary in the last resort for the three defendants, Moore...

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2 cases
  • DPP v Peter Cullen
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 18 Febrero 2014
    ...ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1994 S10 ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 2006 S18 TRAFFIC ACT 1961 S6(A) WALSH CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 2002 PARA 4.55 LYNCH v FITZGERALD 1938 1 IR 382 LEIGH v COLE (1853) 6 COX CC 329 DPP v DALY UNREP HAMILTON 3.3.1986 DPP v GAFFNEY 1987 IR 173 1986 ILRM 657 1986/5/423 DPP v DELANEY & ORS 1997......
  • Finn v Attorney General
    • Jamaica
    • Supreme Court (Jamaica)
    • 19 Mayo 1981
    ...the plaintiff “a mere” escaping felon? The age old test must be applied, to wit, “reasonable force”. 37 Hanna J. in Lynch v. Fitzgerald [1938] I.R. 382 having reviewed the previous authorities on the subject the power to use firearms, had this to say: “Arms now at such a, stage of perfectio......
1 books & journal articles
  • The Constitutional Right to Protest and the Freemen on the Land Movement
    • Ireland
    • Irish Judicial Studies Journal No. 1-17, January 2017
    • 1 Enero 2017
    ...[1983] I.R. 136 at 139 4Humphries v Connor (1867) 17 Ir. C.L.R. 1. 5O’Kelly v Harvey (1883) 14 L.R. Ir. 105. 6Lynch v Fitzgerald (No.2) [1938] IR 382 at 402. 7Brendan Dunne v Fitzpatrick [1958] IR 29. 8[1958] IR 29 at 35 [2017] Irish Judicial Studies Journal Vol 1 41 IRISH JUDICIAL STUDIES ......

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