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Lurgan Coat of Arms The Armagh Guardian

1 October, 1886  

THE NARROW ESCAPE OF MISS MINNIE PALMER

Minnie PalmerIt is alleged that an organised attempt was made on Sunday night 15th August, to wreck the 4.30 train from Dublin, due in Belfast at 9.30pm.

The attacking party seem to have entrenched themselves behind some of the ditches below an embankment near Portadown, where the were in wait for the appearance of the train. About two minutes after the departure of the train from the station, the occupants of three or four of the carriages were startled by a report as of firearms. Almost immediately there came a fusillade of stones and, it is thought, of other missiles. The stones fell on the roof of the carriages and some of them smashed the window of a second class carriage in which a number of people were sitting.

Miss Minnie Palmer, who was travelling to Belfast to fulfil her engagement at the Theatre Royal, was seated with her waiting maid and lady friend in a specially engaged first class carriage. After leaving Portadown, Miss Palmer sat for about a minute at the carriage window, but as the rate of speed increased she leaned back. She had just thrown a wrap over her shoulders, when a bullet whizzed through the open window, and, passing close to her head, shot through the closed window on the other side. , The flash was distinctly seen. On reaching Lurgan Station the matter was reported to the station master and the constabulary. The latter made an examination of the carriage In which Miss Palmer sat, and the conclusion arrived at from the shape of the hole left in the window was that the bullet was fired from a rifle. At Belfast the occurrence was reported to the station master. Opinions are divided as to whether this is or is not part of the 1000 advertisement which Rogers recently propounded.

(Minnie Palmer (1860-1936) was a celebrated American theatre actress and playwright, one of the first to be accepted on the British stage. John R. Rogers was her husband and manager)

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