Observations by Assistant Inspector General of Royal Irish Constabulary with regard to firing of shots at Mitchelstown, County Cork, September 1887

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RETURN to an Order of the Honourable the House of Commons, 

dated 5 July 1888 '.—for, 
COPY " of Observations by Mr. 
Wellington Colomb, Assistant Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary (President of the late Court of Inquiry), with regard to certain Circumstances connected with the firing of the Shots by which Three Men were Killed at Mitchelstown, County of Cork, on the 9th day of September 1887." 

Wellington Colomb to the Under Secretary for Ireland. 
With reference to the question as to whether Lonergan was killed at Mitchelstown by a ricochet or direct shot, no doubt remains on my mind. 
He must have been struck by a ricochet shot, for I found, when I visited Mitchelstown, as president of the departmental inquiry, that it is impossible to discharge a rifle from any of the Mitchelstown police barrack windows, in a direction to strike, without ricochetting, any part of the Market-square. 
The annexed three diagrams will explain this fact more clearly than any words alone can. 
Diagram No. 
1 shows the situation of the police barracks in Upper Cork street; it also shows part of Newmarket-square, in which Lonergan fell, and the spots marked by red crosses in the diagram where Lonergan, Casey, and Shinnick fell. 

There are stone crosses let into, and level with, the ground at the spots where these poor men fell, and these crosses doubtless accurately mark the l spots. 
There is in Diagram No. 
1 a black dotted line, which represents the extreme obliqueness of a line of fire from the barrack windows. 
It will thus be seen that it is just possible to strike the spot without a ricochet shot where Shinnick and Casey fell, and quite impossible to strike otherwise than by a ricochet shot any part of the market square. 
It is impossible to point a rifle, held to the shoulder, at the spot where Shinnick and Casey fell unless one leans half the body out of the window, or unless one stands back at the spot marked thus O, in Diagram No. 
The reason why this is so may, perhaps, be understood with the help of Diagram No. 
3, which is drawn to scale, and shows the length of a rifle and the breadth of the windows in Mitchelstown Police Barracks; but the reason will be at once understood thoroughly by any one who takes a gun or rifle, and tries to present that gun or rifle at any particular spot much to the right of any narrow window while he stands in the window recess. 
It is just possible that Shinnick and Casey may have been struck by direct, i.e., 
not ricochet, shots; but, if so, he who fired must either have leaned out of the window, or have stood on the spot marked O m Digram No. 

I have no reason to believe that any of the men who fired stretched the body out of the window to fire, or stood in the position marked 0 m Diagram No. 
2, and therefore it appears to me most likely that Shmmck and Casey were struck by ricochet shots.