Journal Volume 7 2013
Disagreement at Greystones Station (continued/2)
Now the court heard the counter case in that Richard Gorman alleged that Evans had assaulted him on that New Year’s Day. Richard Gorman’s version of events was that three ladies walked out of the railway station opposite the Railway Hotel and that he drove up to them and informed them that he was available for hire. Evans then drove down and told him that he would break up his car. Evans interjected as this stage ‘The three ladies did not want to hire a car’ and was told by Devaynes Smyth to keep quiet. Gorman continued with his account in which he said that Evans drove up on his inside and said that he would break up his car if he – witness – did not pull out. Evans interjected again ‘That’s a lie.” Gorman resumed his evidence and said that his brother was there and that he had caught his horse and pulled it out into the road when Evans used a lot of bad language. Evans then got down and took out a wrench from the well of his car. Evans said that this was so. Gorman said that Evans then assaulted him by striking him a blow with it on his arm when he put it up and only that he interfered with it, it was not for assault that he would in court that day for but manslaughter – a remark that resulted in an outburst of laughter in the court.
Mr Meldon entered in the spirit of things by asking Gorman ‘Would you not have had him charged with murder?’ - a remark which was greeted with more laughter - to which Gorman replied ‘No but it would have been murder if he had hit me with it and I have two witnesses to prove it.’
Devaynes Smyth then asked Gorman if that was his evidence and was told that it was and then invited Evans to question him but cautioned him not to make statements while doing this. However Evans said that there was no point in asking Gorman any questions when he was making wrong statements.
At this point Devaynes Smyth got annoyed with Evans’ attitude and reminded him that he was not to make speeches and wondered why he did not want to ask him any questions and was told by Evans that he did not wish to question him as what he said was wrong.
Devaynes Smyth left it at that and waited for George Milne, another carman to give his evidence. Milne said that he was standing at Greystones station on New Year’s Day when Richard Gorman, who was standing at the Railway Hotel, drove over to three ladies who just came out of the station. James Evans then drove up and was on the outside but wanted to get on the inside. He told Richard Gorman to pull up or he would break up his car. Christopher Gorman then pulled the other’s horse into the road and the next thing he saw was Evans on the ground with a wrench in his hand and then a bit of a tussle. In reply to a question from Devaynes Smyth Milne said that Evans was standing on the ground and that he got between them when Evans put the wrench through the window of his cab and saw Evans strike Richard Gorman with the wrench. When Devaynes Smyth asked Evans if he wished to question the witness, Evans said that he had no questions to ask him.
|Meldon:||Are you related to the Gormans?|
|Milne:||No. I am related to Evans and am a carman as well.|
Present in the Court was P L McDonnell, the Town Clerk of Bray Urban District Council who between 1898 and 1899 had handled the administrative process under which the Bray Township Commissioners became Bray Urban District Council under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, which introduced the county council system of local government to Ireland. There were always problems with carmen in Bray and when McDonnell was asked by Mr Meldon if any of the three people in court had been summoned under the bye-laws, he was informed by him that there are no bye-laws in operation in Greystones but that some of the Greystones carmen were registered with the Council in Bray (to operate within the township). Mr Meldon found this hard to fathom and remarked that the carmen could do what they like in Greystones and was told by Devaynes Smyth that Greystones had no urban council.
After this revelation, the next witness heard was Laurence Ryan, also a carman. He said that on New Year’s Day Richard Gorman was taking three ladies down to Byrne’s Hotel when James Evans drove up and told Gorman that he would break up his car if he would not pull out into the road. When he got down from his vehicle he saw Evans assaulting Gorman with a wrench on the arm and then George Milne went over and separated them.