Lurgan Coat of Arms The Armagh Guardian

19 September, 1900  


A shooting accident of a very distressing character took place in the townland of Silverwood, near Lurgan, on the night of the 17th inst., and was the subject of an investigation by Mr. W. H. Atkinson, divisional coroner, yesterday afternoon.

The inquest was held in the house of John Gracey, who was in custody charged with having caused the death of his nephew, Allan Gracey, whose age was fourteen years. County-Inspector Croghan, Armagh, was in attendance. Mr. T. G. Menary appeared for the accused. John Gracey, father of the deceased and brother-in-law of the prisoner having identified the body, a witness named John Mayers said he was in Lurgan in company with the prisoner on the previous evening, and they were returning homeward at about nine o'clock. When some distance from the prisoner's residence he saw two young men named Ned Cush and Sam Gracey (a brother of the deceased) on the wayside, and, having passed them, they turned back, and the prisoner went over to a gate on the opposite side of the road. Witness then saw the prisoner's hand raised and heard two or three revolver shots fired, and the deceased lad fell at the feet of the other two on the side of the road facing the gate. They brought the deceased into a field, and on striking a match witness saw blood on the boy's shirt and a wound on his breast, and the prisoner cried out, "My God, I have shot him," and sent for a doctor immediately. The prisoner was quite sober at the time, and witness thought he had his back towards the parties on the other side when he discharged the weapon. The parties were all on good terms, and witness believed he was standing in direct line between the prisoner and the boys. He did not know that the deceased was with the other two. Edward O'Brien said he was in company with the deceased boy and his brother Samuel. He saw the prisoner go back to the iron gate opposite to where they were standing, and fire a shot with his back towards them. He fired a second shot in the air when turned sideways, and then he turned round and faced them. His hand was down then, and the deceased fell.

Samuel Gracey having given corroborative testimony, Dr. Moore deposed to seeing the deceased about half an hour after he was dead. he found a punctured wound four inches deep and slanting upwards on the left breast, and believed the bullet had penetrated the lung and caused death. Mr. Menary having addressed the jury on the melancholy nature of the occurrence, a verdict of accidental death was returned. It is stated that the prisoner was much attached to his sister the deceased's mother and her children.


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