Clare Matrimonial Suit. (Bartons of Sallybank) July 7, 1915
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The Clare Journal July 7, 1915 Clare Matrimonial Suit.



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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His Lordship – Did she want you to take any proceedings? No,
my Lord.  She wanted me to come to see how they were getting

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.