Police Who Took No Notice Fanatical Orangemen
Front Our Belfast Correspondent
The trial of James Hull and Robert McClure for the murder of the Catholic publican, John K. McKiernan, is now over. The accused were :quitted; and, with the strange notion of "loyalty " now so prevalent in Ulster, the crowd outside the court sang God Save the King when the verdict was announced!
The case, however, aroused a good deal of discussion owing to some startling evidence which emerged with regard to the situation in Belfast. During cross-examination Hull was asked:
" Why do you think was McKiernan shot? Was it because he was a Catholic?" The reply was: " I don't think it could have been for anything else, for he was a decent man"!
An organised boycott was revealed by a resolution of the Orange Order read in court: That any member of the Orange Insti tution found frequent ing Roman Catholic public-houses is guilty of conduct unbecoming to an Orangeman, and a charge to that effect may be brought against him and dealt with according to our laws,
it was further revealed that three policemen were waiting about la yards from the scene of the tragedy to escort Mr. McKiernan home. They heard the shots,
saw a ntan running away, and did not even attempt to stop him.
The judge suggested that the " state of terror" somewhat excused their conduct.
At the close of the Belfast commission James Heron received four and William Evans three years' penal servitude for the attempted murder of a Catholic in his own house,