A Free State soldier and a civilian are killed in the action, in which shots are exchanged and two grenades are thrown by the Anti-Treaty fighters.
A Verdict of murder
Yesterday at St. Micheal’s Hospital, Kingstown, Dr. J. P.Brennan, Coroner for South County Dublin, held an inquest on the bodies of Mr. H. A. Manning, of Pilot Cottages, Dalkey, and Corporal Samuel Webb, of the National Army, a native of Kingstown, who were killed in an ambush at Ulverton Hill, Dalkey, on Monday night.
Mr. M. A. Corrigan, Chief State Solicitor, appeared for the authorities, and Superintendent Kelleher for the Metropolitan Police.
REPORT TO THE CORONER
The Coroner, in opening the proceedings, said that the circumstances reported to him were that at 10.55 pm on the 15th inst. Privates Kavanagh and McNally, with five other soldiers, were proceeding along Ulverton Road with a prisoner named John Keys when they were attached with bombs, rifle, and revolver fire from a field at Ulverton Road. Corporal George Webb and a civilian, whose supposed named was H.J. Manning, were taken in the ambulance to St. Michael’s Hospital, and pronounced dead by Dr. Hesham, house surgeon. Private Sharkey and Leo Treston, who were with the patrol, were also injured, and are now patients in the Monstown Hospital. Evidence of identification in the case of Mr. Manning was given by Mr. William Francis Waterhouse, Claremount, Killiney, who said hat the deceased man was his brother-in-law, aged 43 years, and unmarried. He spent Monday evening with the witness, and left the house between 10.30 and 10.40 to go to his lodgings at Pilot Cottages, Bullock Harbour. Margaret Kelly, 19, Library Road, Kingstown, identified the body of Corporal Webb as that of her brother-in-law, who was aged about 20 years and unmarried. Captain Keane, Harbour Barracks, stated that he received a telephone message, as a result of which he went to Ulverton Road, the scene of the attack. A civilian stopped the car, and the witness got out about 50 yards from the scene. Private Sharkey was lying on the road and a civilian was lying against the wall on the side of the road. An ambulance then came on the scene and removed the wounded. The witness found an unexploded bomb lying on the road.
ATTACKED FROM THE ROCKS
Private Art O’Conner, Harbour Barracks, said that he was one of a patrol from the Barracks in Dalkey at about 11 o’clock. When they reached the portion of the road where the rocks were protruding rifle fire was opened on the patrol from the direction of the rocks. The witness lay down on the tram tracks. There was a bomb thrown which exploded at the corner nearest to Kingstown. He saw Private Sharkey fall at the right side of the road. There was a civilian near him, who was also killed. A good deal of firing took place and another bomb was thrown, which exploded. The men were killed by the fire from the rock. Dr. Michael J. Harty, St. Michael’s Hospital, stated that he received the body of Private Samuel Webb. On examination he found wounds on the left hand, a wound on the inner side of the left foot, near the ankle, and a penetrating wound on the right side. There was also a penetrating wound in the lower lobe of the right lobe of the right lung, and the liver was also penetrated. Death was due to shock from the wounds. To the Coroner-In his opinion the principal wound was caused by a bullet, and not by a bomb splinter. To a Juror-The wound penetrating the chest caused death. Witness added that he also received the body of Mr. Manning, and found a punctured wound in the left ear, entering the skull and traversing the brain. Death was due to laceration of the brain caused by a .45 revolver bullet. To a Juror-He could not say if the nose of the bullet was hammered down before it was fired, but he thought that it would have been flattened by striking the bone.
Lieutenant-Commandant Joseph Flanagan Harbour Barracks, having described the finding of the bodies and their removal, said that when he arrived the police handed him a bomb (produced) which had been picked up, and they placed it in a bucket of water. They later got two other bombs which had not exploded and 17 empty and eight live rifle cartridges. Police Constable Joseph Keating deposed to searching the scene of the ambush at Ulverton Road yesterday morning, and finding an unexploded bomb behind the rock where the ambushers were, and 17 empty cartridge cases and 18 live cartridges. When other witnesses had been examined, Mr Corrigan said that it was clear that these two men-a civilian and a national soldier-were killed in the attack, and the people who were responsible were, he submitted guilty of the murder of these two men.
FINDING OF THE JURY.
The Coroner, in reviewing the evidence, said that this was another of the very regrettable tragedies they had to inquire into where one Irishman was up in arms against another brother Irishman, and there was no decent Irishman who did not regret it. With the morality of the acts of the belligerents the jury had no concern there, and they had to arrive at their verdict upon the evidence before them. Mr. C. Murphy (Managing Director, Messrs. Clery and Co.) expressed regret on behalf of himself and of the firm at the death of Mr. Manning. The jury found in the case of Mr. Manning that death was caused by a bullet fired by some person or persons unknown, and tendered sympathy to the relatives. In the case of Corporal Webb a verdict that the deceased soldier was wilfully murdered by some person or persons unknown was returned. They tendered deep sympathy to the relatives of the deceased, in which the Coroner and Mr. Corrigan joined.