Clare Matrimonial Suit. (Bartons of Sallybank) July 7, 1915 Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives Clare Index Clare Newspaper Records Copyright Contributed by Aileen Wynne email@example.com CLARE MATRIMONIAL SUIT. (BARTONS OF SALLYBANK) JULY 7, 1915 File contributed for use in Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives by: August 28, 2021, 3:21 pm The Clare Journal July 7, 1915 Clare Matrimonial Suit. A TRAGIC STORY OF DOMESTIC UNHAPPINESS. A WIFE'S SUFFERINGS. On Tuesday evening, Mr Justice Molony heard a matrimonial suit, in which Mrs Margaret Barton brought a petition against her husband, Patrick Barton, in which she made application for a separation mensa et thoro. The parties, who lived at Sallybank, Kilmore, near Broadford, are of the farming class. Mr Fleming, K.C., with Mr E. J. Phelps, B.L. instructed by Mr H. O'Brien Moran, solr., appeared for the petitioner. Mr P. Lynch, K.C., with Mr Fitzgerald, B.L., instructed by Messrs. Connolly and Co. Solrs. appeared for the respondent. Opening the case for the petitioner, Mr Fleming said her application was made on the grounds of cruelty and ill treatment by the respondent. The parties were married on the 14th of February, 1888. His Lordship – That is a long time ago. Mr Fleming – 27 years ago, my Lord. They were married in Kilmore Catholic Church, in the parish of Broadford. The petitioner's maiden name was Margaret Crowe. She resided with her husband after the marriage, at his place at Sallybank, not far from Kilmore. There were eleven children of the marriage, nine of them were living, two having died in infancy. Of the nine children, two boys and a girl were in America. James Barton, the last son who went to America, and the other six children, lived with the respondent until 1914, at Sallybank. The respondent was a man of very violent temper, and especially within the last five years he conceived an unnatural hatred against his wife and children. During those years he frequently assaulted her in a violent manner, he threatened to shoot her, and on no less than three occasions he expelled her and his children out of the house at night. They had to seek shelter at night owing to the terror the respondent inspired in them. In addition he persistently assaulted and illtreated his children in her presence, and in a manner calculated to wound a mother's affection for her offspring. He would indicate to his Lordship the sort of brutal conduct the respondent observed towards his wife. In 1909 he ill-treated and assaulted her and that systematic and persistent ill-treatement was aggravated from the year 1908, and it culminated in her having to leave the house on the 22nd August, 1914. In 1908 he struck her and he persistently called her children b____, and he made specific allegations against her for which there was absolutely no foundation. The petitioner was leading a terrible life, as were also her children but the three eldest children having gone to America, fortunately escaped his violence. As time went on respondent's hatred for his wife and children was daily and hourly increasing. On the 3rd April, 1914, he struck her with a horse's collar, knocking her against the wall. On the 10th February, 1914, he kicked and otherwise ill-treated her, and the poor woman, driven to despair, had to issue a summons against him. The case came before the magistrates at Broadford, when he was fined 10s 6d on the 3rd February, and he was bound to the peace for twelve months. As one would naturally expect, Father Kennedy, the respected parish priest, and Father Smith, endeavoured after these proceedings, to effect a reconciliation: they made it up between the husband and wife. Of course it was the last resort for this poor woman to have her home broken up. She in fact submitted to tremendous violence and gross insults in order to preserve the honour of her children and to preserve the maintenance of her home, notwithstanding the brutality of her husband towards her and her children. Fr. Kennedy having come, she consented to make it up with her husband, to forgive him for what he had done to her. She shook hands with him. But what was the result of the priest's mediation? The respondent broke through at once, and made allegations against the moral character of his wife, told her she was the mother of b____ and ____. He actually struck her with a chair, and got a revolver, which he kept loaded in his bedroom. He used to fire shots about the place to terrify his wife and children. On one occasion he got one of his sons to put up his legs towards his mother, and told him to put his heels through and split the skull of his mother. The poor woman's health was giving way under such terrible and brutal conduct. As his children grew up little boys and girls they had actually to fly from his violence and seek refuge in a neighbouring house. In fact, he locked up the food from his wife and children. On the 23rd of April he went into her bedroom, pulled the clothes off her, and threatened to burn her to a cinder. Shortly after she issued another summons against him for threatening and abusive language. On the 7th July the case came before the magistrates at Broadford petty sessions, and of course they were unwilling in cases of the kind to do anything that would be against promoting harmony. The case was adjourned for a month to see if it would effect a reconciliation between them. The priest again visited them and got them to shake hands. He promised that he would mend his ways, but when the priest had gone he turned on his wife, told her she had done her best, that she could not go beyond bringing the priest to him and he adopted his old system of violence again towards her. On the 20th August he want into her bedroom, put his clenched fist up to her head, and said that after a few months more he would give her reason to go to Broadford that she never would forget. Of course that was referring to the proceedings she had taken against him. By reason of that perpetual conduct she and her children were put in terror of their lives. She was but a shadow of her former self. As an indication of the regard in which he held his wife, she had only one suit of clothes for Sunday, Monday, and every day of the week. His Lordship – What is the extent of the farm? Mr Fleming – 40 acres: he has nine or ten young stock and four milch cows. The annuity to the Land Commission was about £10 and the Poor Law Valuation was £18. Continuing, counsel said on the morning of the 22nd August, the petitioner escaped away to the house of her brother, James Crowe, who lived some distance away, and he had to procure clothes for her. Finally she was driven to take proceedings against her husband very much against her will. She made an application for alimony on the 21st September, 1914, but respondent never paid her a penny. He sold everything off his farm. Two months before she left the house he drove two of his children, Martin and Christy, from his house. He starved his wife and children. It was absolutely impossible for the petitioner to live with him under such a reign of terror. Counsel referred his Lordship to the respondent's reply to the petition, in which he denied assaulting his wife, except when he found his dinner unprepared and his clothes unwashed. Petitioner bore out her counsel's statement. She said she lived with her husband at Sallybank. The had eleven children by the marriage: two of the children died in infancy: three of the eldest children went to America, and six continued to live with her. Her husband did not beat her until 1908 but her called her foul names. In 1908 he struck her on the face with his hand and knocked her on the floor. He threatened to shoot her and said he would not let her alone until he put her into the asylum, and out of the place by starvation or some other way. During the year 1908 he used bad language towards her. In 1909 he frequently used threatening language, telling her he would hang for her, that he did not care what became of himself so long as she was gone before him. That language and threats were used towards her almost every week of the year. He also called her other names. His conduct put her in fear and terror of her life. Mr Lynch objected to the evidence on the ground that it was not stated in the petition. Continuing, petitioner said he continued threatening her and putting her in fear and terror of her life every week in 1910: he used the same language towards her. He told her she was everyone's wife but his. That was frequently repeated by him in 1909 and 1910. In 1909 he also threatened and abused her: His language was even getting worse in character and he was getting very violent towards herself and her children. What effect had this upon your health? When I told the priest he told me pay no heed to it. What effect had it upon your health? Petitioner replied that her health was declining. She had grave fears for her personal safety, being afraid of her life of him, and he nearly killed her one night. He continued that same conduct towards her in 1912, during which his conduct got even more violent, with threats and abuse. Twice that year she had to sleep out of her house. He threw chairs at her. He threw her children out of the house at night with herself, except the two young children who were in bed. In 1912 he broke what was in the house. Mr Lynch again objected to this evidence, which was not mentioned in the petition. He asked his Lordship to take a note of his objection to any evidence the petition did not cover. Continuing, petitioner said her husband broke the delph, and furniture, including dresser and table. He did that at 9 o'clock on a night in 1912. He pelted things at herself and the children. He threatened to drive bullets through her. Do you remember his procuring firearms? Yes. When was that? In 1911, I think. What sort of firearm did he get? He got a double barrel gun. He used to keep the gun loaded in the bedroom. In addition to the gun did he buy any other firearm? Petitioner said he bought a revolver. Before and after he got the revolver the defendant said he would put bullets through her. On account of those threats she had terrible apprehensions of her personal safety. His conduce towards his children was equally violent; he stated they were not his children and in her presence called them names. In 1913 her husband bit her arm, on which was the print of his teeth; he first spat on her face. In addition to those foul names he called you, did he call you anything else? Petitioner replied her husband also called her "Kitty O'Shea” Some of her children were listening to that, and her children saw him catching her by the arm with his teeth. Her arm was very sore and there was a black lump on it. Shortly after that he beat her with a whip. His Lordship – Where did he beat you with it? Petitioner said he gave her three strokes on the side. One those occasions of assaults and attacks she used to scream. Before he struck her with the whip he followed her daughter Lizzie with it. She went out the door to see if he was beating her with it, and when at the door he beat herself with it. Lizzie XXX the time was going for a bucket of water. In 1913 he was threatening to drive bullets through her and she was afraid he would do so. In January 1913 he struck her with a horse's collar. He told her he could not bear the sight of her in the house, that he hated the ground on which she walked. In 1915 he ran at her daughter Lizzie with the door which he took off the hinges and threatened to split her open with it. Lizzie was saying nothing to him and was doing the household work. On the 10th February, 1914 he kicked her on the back and she was very much hurt. He knocked her down and while on the ground kicked her. The children was [sic] roaring and bawling. When she took the proceedings against him he said if she came back that night he would put twelve bullets through her. That was the night she had to sleep out with her daughter Lizzie. Where did you sleep that night? Petitioner replied she slept with her daughter in the stable under the cows' heads. Before she instituted the petty sessions proceedings against her husband he put the revolver to her face, saying he would swing for her. At the time she was sitting on a chair in the kitchen when he came in with the revolver in his hand. He then called her ugly names. He asked "are you there, Kitty. I have another day for it, and I will drive what is in that through you and all belonging to you.” He then went to the door and fired two shots and told his children any man who would come there in his absence to drive the bullets through them. When he fired the shots she and her children were in a frightful way with fear and terror. She issued the summons against him, and the case was heard at Broadford petty sessions. Counsel read the order dated February, 1914, showing that Barton was convicted for assaulting his wife, and was fined 10s with 1s 6d costs. Fearing that the defendant would repeat his violent conduct he was ordered to enter into recognisance in £5, and two sureties of £2 10s each, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour towards his wife and children. Asked what did he do to her son, Martin, who was mentioned in the proceedings, petitioner said her husband threw Martin outside the door and struck him at the same time with his clenched fist, telling him never again to come inside the door. He also threw her son Christopher outside the door. After the petty sessions proceedings Fr. Smith said that Martin should be sent for, to stop in the house. Martin came, but on the following morning her husband hunted him again. He would not allow any of them to assist him at any work. She asked that Martin should be left in the house, to go to school, to do something for himself. Martin was fourteen years. Father Smith came again, and he got her husband to shake hands with her. In the presence of Fr. Kennedy her husband promised to mend his ways towards her and her children. But the priest had not gone two hours when her husband called her those foul names. He said she had now gone as far as she could in having the priest to come to him, that she got no satisfaction at the court and that she brought the priest to settle it. He then said he would shoot her, and would hang for her. He also threatened her daughter Lizzie. What about your food? Petitioner replied her husband locked up the meat, sugar, tea and potatoes from them. He started to lock up the food in June or July, 1914, but he always locked up the meat from herself and her children who got none of it from him. In April, 1914, he came to the room where she was sleeping on the sofa, pulled the clothes off her and threatened to burn her to a cinder. He told her to never put her foot inside the bedroom. She then had to make a little bed in the sofa in the sitting room for herself. When he came in one night one of the children asked him would he have his supper, but he called the child a name, and said when he wanted a supper he could pay for it. But he came to to room to her and said he wanted his supper: she told him his supper was on the table for him. There were potatoes, meat, bread, and milk left for him. He then took the bed clothes from her, took them to his own room, and locked them there. She had to sleep with her daughter that night. Her husband threatened to lock her up in a room and burn her to a cinder. His demeanour was getting worse towards her every day, and he had nothing for her but that he would shoot her and hang for her. His conduct towards her children was equally cruel. In the month of July, 1914, when she prosecuted him for his threats the magistrates adjourned the case for four weeks to see if a friendly arrangement could be made between them, as she was always willing to live peacefully with him. He told her he would not give her one hour's quietness while she was living under the same roof. Mr Lynch objected to this evidence on the same grounds. Petitioner said in August, 1914, while in the sitting room her husband put his fist to her face, saying she would remember the day she brought him to Broadford, as in a few months time he would give her cause to remember it. She then left her husband's house, not being any longer able to stick it. Her husband would cook his own meat, and lock it up when he was done with it, not giving any of it to her or the children, to whom he gave no bread. She used to make butter for her children, but he prevented her doing this, telling her that if he caught her at it again he would take in the shovel and put it on the land as top dressing. Before 7 and 8 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd August she left her house and came to her brother, James Crowe. She had not sufficient clothing, as with the exception of one dress she got twelve months previously, she did not get a suit of clothes for ten years. She had not been assisting in the farm work, as six years previously he prevented her doing any work: neither would he allow her daughter Lizzie to assist him. He hunted the little boy who used to milk the cows four months before witness left, and before she left it was the youngest child used milk the cows. Lizzie, with the other three children, left her husband's house on the 5th Oct and followed her to where she was. There was an order made by the court directing her husband to pay 10s a week for her support, but he said he would cut his throat before he would give her a penny. He had since sold all the stock, including 22 head of cattle, and she understood he also sold the horse and mule. If you wanted to go to Mass on the jennet and car would he allow you? He would not. Did you one one occasion ask you brother for the loan of his jennet and car? I did: I wanted to go to Limerick, but he locked the gate against my brother and would not let him in with the jennet and car. When you left his house in what condition were you? My health had fallen away and I was a different woman to what I had been. In cross-examination by Mr Lynch, petitioner said her husband used to keep six milch cows. Three of her children had gone to America. Neither she nor Lizzie did go to Kilkishen to a first cousin: she was nearly 12 months away: she was about 17 years at the time: she returned homt [sic] at Christmas, and she was at home in 1913. Counsel questioned petitioner about a letter which Mr Moran, Solicitor wrote to Elizabeth Barton in connection with her conduct towards her father. She said she was aware such a letter was written to her daughter in August, 1913. DEFENCE. In opening respondent's case, Mr Lynch described petition and her family as having extravagant and nonsensical ideas: that they went on visits for twelve months at a time, and had dances at the house. His children were cycling about the road with the result that the petitioner for the last six years had no assistance in the working of his farm. The respondent did nothing whatever to justify the petitioner leaving his house, and this was the most disgraceful petition that was ever brought into Court by a wife against her husband. If the machinery of the High Court was to be put in motion against an unfortunate man like the respondent, after he and his wife were reconcile by the priest, all he could say was that it was an abuse of the process of the Court. This woman left her husband's house on the 22nd August, after getting a telegram from her solr., and she went into Limerick, and on that day the petition was issued. The petition should be treated in the only way that such a petition like it should be treated. Patrick Barton was examined. Having giving [sic] evidence of the extent of the carrying power, the annuity and poor law valuation of his holding, he said there was no real difference between himself and his wife until he took his children from Clonlara school which was four Irish miles from Sallybank where there was a school at the end of his farm. His wife objected to his taking his children form the Clonlara school of which her brother was the schoolmaster. Owing to the long distance her children had to go in winter time their health was failing – one of them fell into a pond. His eldest daughter, Delia, and his son, James, went to America three years ago, and his daughter, Mary, had gone four years ago His wife had always the management of his money except 1s he might keep for himself. Before Mary went to America he objected to her going to school to Limerick, as he could not afford to pay for her there. In August, 1913 he had to make a complaint about his daughter, Lizzie, for her conduct towards him. For the past two years things were going wrong: dancing and gambling carried on in his house. He objected to that. Mr Fleming – The petitioner was not asked a word about dancing or anything of that kind. His Lordship – Not at all. Responent said in August, 1913 when Mr Moran, at his instructions, wrote to Lizzie, he was assaulted by his wife and daughter. When he returned from Limerick he was carrying in the tackling, when his wife met him in the door and asked him would he abuse or strike them? He told her to have sense and not have the people laughing at her. After bringing in the horse's collar to the kitchen he was followed to the car by his wife who struck him on the head, and he was also struck by the daughter. They both had sticks. Questioned as to the assaults, of which evidence had been given by his wife and children, respondent absolutely denied having assaulted his wife. He never hit her in the arm, not in any way ever laid his hands upon her. He never threatened to burn her to a cinder, but that was what the neighbours said should be done with her and her children – neither did he spit in her face. At the time he was bound to the peace, he was not represented by a Solr, but his wife was. He was refused an adjournment to consult a Solr. The second case was adjourned for four weeks in the hope the priest would settle matters between them The priest did come to the house, and whatever difference was between himself and his wife, they shook hands and decided to make the best of things. At that time some of the children were away from home, and though the priest told her to leave her children away, she took them back: after his son, Martin, returned on Tuesday morning he asked him where he was going, he said he was going to school to Limerick. He asked Martin if he was coming back again that night: he said he was, but respondent told him he could not afford to pay for him at Limerick: he told him to go where he was for the last four or five months; at the same time he caught Martin gently and put him outside the door. When his wife got the telegram from Mr Moran, sol, telling her to go in the next day, she left his house to which she did not return since, and the next thing he heard of her was when he was served with the petition. In cross-examination by Mr Fleming, respondent denied everything sworn against him – either that he assaulted or threatened his wife. Do you deny you called her foul names? I don't deny that. What names did you call your wife – did you call her a ___? I did not. Did you call her a ____? I did not. Did you call her a _____? I may through excitement. Who were you referring to when you called your wife by the name of "Kitty”? I was referring to herself. And who is Kitty ___”Kitty O'Shea”? No, sir. My wife's name is Margaret. You did not call her Margaret, you called her "Kitty”? I might say it, or Peggy as well. His Lordship – He also called her by the full name, " Kitty O'Shea ” ? MrFleming – Did you call her " Kitty O'Shea ”? I did. Who was " Kitty O'Shea ” ? She was a Member of Par?iament's [sic] wife (laughter). I suppose you heard about her ? I heard a share. Enough I suppose. Were you an admirer of her? No. Or of her conduct? I may read a little about her conduct. Did you hear of the charges brought against her ? I did not pay much heed to them. That is the reason you called your wife " Kitty, ” because of the raputation [sic] " Kitty ” had ? I might say many things there would be no harm in. Further questioned respondent denied he ever abused his wife, or children; he never raised a hand or foot to her during her life. Counsel her referred respondent to the paragraph in his reply to the petition in which he said he never used coarse or violent language towards her except on a few occasions when he went home and found his dinner unprepared and his clothes unwashed. He was now contradicting himself on oath. Respondent denied he bit his wife's arm. He did not see her arm. It was an invention. That was a plot against him by all his family for his being against the sending of his children to Clonlara school, and for not allowing a open house for gambling and dancing. His son, Christy, did not return to his house, because when he asked him to put some litter under bonhams he said "to h---- with you; I will not.” John Boland, called as witness for the respondent, said he was a neighbouring farmer. He and his sons assisted the respondent in the working of his farm. About the 10th Feb., 1914 he was in Limerick with the respondent. When he returned home, he heard him ask his wife to get a cup of tea, three times, but he got no answer. The respondent pulled the chair from under her, and she and Lizzie ran out the door. He never saw him strike her with the chair. The petitioner attacked witness because he would not take a false oath for her at Broadford She thought to put him outside the door, but he prevented her. Mr Phelps – You were a witness for him at Broadford Petty Sessions, and the magistrates did not believe you, because he was bound to the peace? John Boland, son of the previous witness, gave evidence he assisted the respondent occasionally in the management of his farm. On the 24th April, when going into his dinner she assaulted him, and told him never go there again. None of the Bartons assisted in the working of the farm. Sergeant Dolan gave evidence that he was stationed at Kilmore barrack, which was an English mile from where the Bartons lived. Barton was a hard working, industrious man. His Lordship – Did you get any complaint about him ? Counsel was proceeding to read the letter, when Mr Fleming objected. Petitioner – It is a false letter, my Lord. Mr Lynch said it was a letter written by Mr Moran on the instructions of the respondent to his daughter in August, 1913. He submitted this was evidence. His Lordship – It is not evidence. Further questioned, petitioner said she was aware the letter was sent to her daughter Lizzie. She was asked in that letter "If you desire to go to America or elsewhere, I will pay your passage.” Petitioner replied Lizzie would have gone away at the time but for herself, as she would not allow her to go being the only one she had to help her. It would not be true that when her husband went into Mr Moran to write that letter on the 5th August, he had traces of violence on his head after her and Lizzie. Neither inflicted any injuries upon him on that or at any other time. Would it be true his head was damaged in the month of August, 1913, as the result of some assault upon him? Petitioner said his head was damaged in this way – he was coming in the door with a half sack of flour when he fell. Did anybody assault him with a stick? Petitioner said she assaulted him when he attacked her the time he bit her in the arm. She never before assaulted him with a stick or anything else. When her husband came home from Limerick he generally beat the walls with his knuckles, and he would have rags tied around his hands for a fortnight. You were so pleasant when he came home that he took off his coat and vest and commenced to beat the walls? He used to say there was arsenic and carbolic acid in his tea. Further questioned petitioner said the police barrack was about one mile and a half from the house. She never showed the policeman the results of any marks inflicted by her husband. When she sent her daughter to school to Limerick her husband COULD not not complain of her extravagance in doing so, as it was her uncle was paying for her. She was first going to a National School, and she sent her to the Munster College in Limerick to learn shorthand and typewriting which her uncle said she should learn before she went to America. He paid 25s a quarter for her for that part of her education. Only for her (petitioner's brother in America, who helped her, she would have neither house nor home. She had a brother, Pat Crowe, who was schoolmaster at Clonlara school, three miles from Sallybank The National School at Sallybank was quite close to her house. She sent her children to school to her brother at Clonlara, but that was not the cause of the trouble between herself and her husband, who could have objected if her did not want the children to go to school to Clonlara. If he had any objection to sending the children so far to school he could have kept them at home. [sic] Petitioner was next subjected to a sharp cross-examination as to whether she got a telegram from Mr Moran, solr, the morning she left her husband's house on the 21st or 22nd August. Petitioner said she could not say if she did get a telegram at that particular time from Mr Moran. Mr Fleming objected to this cross-examination, submitting she should not answer anything relating to confidential matters between herself and her children. It was simply outrageous that such a question should be asked. His Lordship directed petitioner not to answer any question concerning any communication she had with her solicitor. Counsel having repeated his question, petitioner said she got no telegram from her solicitor either on the 21st or 22nd August. She remained with her brother until 5th October. She first went to Limerick on the 2nd August, and returned to her brother's house. She knew her husband was trying to sell his farm by public auction since she started this petition She complained of his not paying her the alimony she was allowed. Although you were with your solicitor to prevent his setting the land. His Lordship – When was the auction? Mr Lynch – In April, I think, my Lord. His Lordship – Of the present year? Yes, my Lord. Petitioner, further cross examined, swore she could no longer reside with her husband. She knew a man named Boland who used work for her husband about the place. She prevented Boland from coming to the house. She denied first she assaulted him, but she told him not to be coming to the house, and seeing he did come she did put her two hands to him and shoved him out the door, because her children said her husband would not feed them and he was feeding Boland. She was not living in Limerick where one of her children was working. Re examing [sic] by Mr Fleming, petitioner said her husband having cleared the land of all his stock, advertised the grazing of the land on the 1st May. That was the auction she went to attend. Lizzie Barton, who said she was 21 years of age, gave evidence in which she generally corroborated the story of attacks and assaults committed upon her mother by her father. For the last five years there was no happiness whatsover in the house. She remained in the house with Pat, Joseph and Norah, after her mother left, until 5th Oct. He also assaulted herself. Witness was cross-examined at considerable length by MrFitzgerald. She said at present she was in business in Limerick, and what she earned, she gave to her mother She got a letter from Mr Moran, Solr, in which her father asked her to leave the house. She admitted on 5th August, 1913, striking her father with a rod to save her mother, whom he was assaulting at the time. She denied she was persistently urging her mother to make her father's life unbearable and unpleasant. Martin Barton, a boy of 15 years of ago, gave a very intelligent account of the attacks and assaults his father committed upon his mother. He had been away from the house, but the priest's visit to his father resulted in his being taken back home. He had to go to a neighbour's house, being afraid of his father's violence. The next morning, after his return, his father told him he wanted him to do no work, and threw him out the door on his face and hands. He also kicked witness. He struck the door, and told him never to return to his house. After firing two shots from the revolver out the door, he handed the revolver to worness's brother, telling him to put the bullets through anyone who would come in his absence, but his brother Pat would not take the revolver. His father used lock up the bread, of which he used to get but very little: sometimes he had to fast, except from potatoes alone. He and his brother used milk the cows. In cross-examination by Mr Lynch, witness was questioned about having assaulted a little boy named Boland. Witness's father told the Bolands if he caught one of them passing through their place to blacken them. If the Bolands had a right to put them out of their place, he did not see why he had not a right to put him out of their place. He was going to school to Limerick when his father took him away. MrFleming – He is now cleaning bottles and carrying a publican's bottles, like David Copperfield. James Crowe, petitioner's brother, said he lived about a mile and a half from the respondent's place. On either the 21st or 22nd August his sister came to his house. She was hardly able to walk, she was miserable and naked; his wife went to Limerick and bought some clothes for her; he was still helping her. In cross-examination, witness said the day of the petty sessions at Broadford he did not get a party of men to attack the respondent; nor was he told not to do it by Sergeant Doolin. Mr Fleming stated he had other members of the petitioner's family to examine, but he would not do so as their evidence was the same. Witness replied on the 30th Jan., 1914, Mrs Barton complained she was assaulted by her husband. But he saw no sign of a mark upon her. She said her husband hit her on the neck and kicked her. Mr Fleming – And did you find herself and the children sleeping out? I did And you never said a word about that? I found them out in July, 1913 And you first experience of Barton was you found his wife and children out of doors ⁃ at what hour on that night? ⁃ One o'clock in the morning. And where was Barton? He was in bed. I thought so, sleeping the sleep of the just, and his poor wife and children driven out of the house. Where did you find his wife and children? In the laneway at the end of the house, standing. The little boy and Lizzie were with her. Upon your oath what were they doing? Standing in the laneway. It was in response to a complaint made by one of her children I went there. Was there a complaint made about her husband upon that occasion? There was. Why didn't you tell that to my Lor in your direct evidence? What was the complaint she made to you when you found herself and the children outside her door at one o'clock in the morning? She said her husband hunted her out. What did you do with her and her children? Witness replied he took them into the house: he knocked at the door: Mr Barton asked who was there: he opened the door and let them in; he asked him about the assault, which he denied; Barton unlocked the door: it was under his protection that Mr Barton and the children returned to the house; he heard he used fire shots out of the revolver. Did you ever hear he threatened to shoot his wife with it? I got a complaint from one of her sons that he threatened to shoot his wife with the revolver. Re examined by Mr Lynch, witness said on the night Mr Barton and her children were out he found the back door was unlocked and open. His Lordship – When did you see the back door open? It was wide open, my Lord. His Lordship – When you went in the front door did you see the back door was wide open? Witness looked towards the Counsel for the respondent. His Lordship – Don't look to the left or right for inspiration. You say this man Barton got up and opened the door that night? He did, my Lord. His Lordship – On entering the house did you then and there see that the back door was open? No, my Lord His Lordship – When did you see the door open? The next day, my Lord (aughter)[sic] His Lordship – Is not that a brilliant effort from a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary? Don't you think you ought be ashamed of yourself? MrLynch – There is no lock in the back door? I found there was no lock in it. His Lordship – Don't you think you ought be a little more careful about giving evidence? I looked upon it as domestic troubles, my Lord. Sergeant Brady, ClareCastle, was called to say he was stationed in Kilmore for two and a half years. During that time he knew Barton to be a hard working, industrious man. In the autumn of 1911, Mr Barton called to the barrack and complained that she could not stand her hus and [sic] any longe . [sic] His Lordship – Did she make a specific complaint? That he was fighting and abusing her every night and returning home drunk. His Lordship – Did she want you to take any proceedings? No, my Lord. She wanted me to come to see how they were getting on. Witness said he visited the house later the same night. They both made complaints of each other. He told them he could do nothing for them – it was not a case for police interference. On another occasion young Barton called to the barrack and said his father was out of his mind and should be sent to the asylum. He never saw any signs of injuries inflicted upon Mr Barton or any member of the family by Barton. Evidence having closed, his Lordship said this was one of those painful cases with which he had to deal without the assistance of a Jury. There were a few admitted facts in the case. Let them first take the respondent's view of his wife. He said for twenty three years she wad a good wife and that he had no fault whatever to find with her; that she had actually the handling of his money except Is [sic] he might keep for him self [sic] He trusted her with everything. The children were grown up, and she was anxious to have the children educated in a school at Clonlara, which seemed to have been the school that was run by her brother. On the other hand he was anxious to have the children educated at a school which was a few hundred yards from his house, and it was apparently from that, to a great extent, that the family dissension arose. Now, the position of affairs, according to the petitioner, was that the incident of the school was but one incident in a career of abuse and actual violence, which dated from the birth of her youngest child in 1908 ; and if the accepted her evidence, undoubtedly from that period she had been subjected to a great deal of assaults and to a continuance of violence and abusive language. It was only right that one should understand the nature of matrimonial cruelty, which in law entitled a wife to separation from her husband. That violence may consist not only of assaults, but also of abusive language, or of threatening language continued for such a period and in such a manner, as to endanger, or tend to endanger, her health. It might also consist of violence in her presence to her children. whom she brought into the world, and who were parts of herself. and it might also consist of attacks, unfounded attacks, upon her chastity which to a woman of virtue, pained her more, hurt her more and effected [sic] her more than did many of the acts of actual violence. In this case they had it admitted by the respondent that although this woman had been a good woman, a perfect woman for twenty-three years, and that the only fault he had to find with her was the difference of opinion as to where her children should go to school, he was in the habit of calling her bad names which should never be used to any woman no matter how bad she was, but which when used by a man to a woman who had borne him eleven children, impressed upon his Lordship's mind the kind of man he was. Were the marks of this man's teeth upon his wife's arm? The evidence of that incident showed he was not satisfied with striking her, but he bit her arm. When the boy, Martin Barton, was examined he showed he bit his mother's arm on which was the print of his teeth. Respondent denied he ever struck his wife. But on that point they had the very striking evidence of his daughter, Lizzie, who who brought home to the petitioner the act of physical violence – even acts of violence to herself and constant abuse and bad language. He should find in the evidence that the poor woman was subjected to bad language, to actual physical violence, and to a continuation of assaults. and the insufficiency of food. When she left her husband's house on the 22nd August, whether she left his particular day in consequence of a telegram she received from her Solicitor, they found that upon that day, according to the evidence of James Crowe, she came to his house in " a wretched state -she was miserable and naked. I had to provide her with clothes. She was living with me for six or seven weeks I have ben helping her since.” In the evidence of John Boland he told of one transaction. His Lordship would say both parties might have been a little wrong upon that occasion. If the petition was based on that single incident, or of a series of incidents about which he might have any doubt, he would not feel perfectly satisfied to give a verdict in the case. The only other evidence he had to deal with was that of the police. His Lordship felt bound to say that he did not at all feel satisfied with the way in which Sergeant Peter Dolan gave his evidence. Police had serious and responsible duties to discharge-in most cases they did that with perfect truth. But when the came to cases of this kind, they must remember that their duty was to tell the truth, and the whole truth, as was the duty of every member of the community. The police sergeant when asked about the door being open, said it was, and when it was put to him afterwards he said he found it was not open until the next day! His Lordship did not think that was either a candid or proper way for a policeman to give evidence. Perhaps the sergeant was not to blame; perhaps it might be an accidental mistake of his But, continued his Lordship, "I do expect, and I am entitled to expect, the very high standard to be observed by the Royal Irish Constabulary when they come to give evidence : they are to assist the Judge in finding out the whole truth : they are not to look to the right or to the left to seek inspiration as to what evidence they are to give, but they are to endeavour to assist wholly, solely, and entirely in the administration of justice. I have no difficulty in this case in finding that Patrick Barton has been guilty of matrimonial cruelty to his wife, and I adjudge him to be so guilty, and I award a decree of mensa et thoro. Having said so much,” concluded his Lordship, " about the sergeant, I don't wish anything more to happen about it. It passes away from my mind. I have simply said what I did because I feel that the highest possible standard must be maintained in the Royal Irish Constabulary. Additional Comments: This article was first published in The Clare Journal on 7th July 1915 on pages 3 and 4, then in The Saturday Record on 10th July.