2-5-1942 ENNISKILLEN GROCER’S SUCCESSFUL APPEAL. Ernest Colvin, grocer, High St., Enniskillen, appealed at Enniskillen Quarter. Sessions on Thursday against a penalty of £50 imposed at Enniskillen Petty Sessions on a charge of knowingly harbouring seven sacks of coffee beans with intent to evade the prohibition of export thereon. Mr. J. Cooper, D.L., Crown Solicitor, said that after Colvin had been convicted they succeeded in arresting a man from the Free State named Keenan, .for whom, this coffee was, and he was fined £50. When the case same on against Keenan they had interviewed Mr. Colvin and his assistant, and got them to come and give evidence against Keenan. In view of this fact the Customs Authorities would agree to this penalty, being reduced to £25. Mr. E. C. Ferguson, D. L. (for Colvin) agreed to this course, and accordingly his Honour affirmed the conviction, but reduced the penalty to £25.
2-5-1942 WHISKEY SEIZURE BY FLORENCECOURT POLICE. Sergeant Ryan and Constable Redpath, Florencecourt, on Saturday evening stopped a car at Drumcarn, Belnaleck, Co. Fermanagh, and on searching it found 6 five naggin bottles of whiskey, four similar bottles of wine and two large bottles of gin, as well as a dozen egg cups, a quantity of tobacco and cigarettes, a showerproof coat and quantity of sweepstake tickets, all of which were seized, together with the car. The driver was taken into custody,, and on. Sunday afternoon was allowed out on £20 bail to appear at next Enniskillen Petty Sessions. Major Dickie, R.M., attended at the Barracks, on Sunday afternoon, and the car driver was ,present with his solicitor, but no court was held, the reason being that the magistrate could not discharge any judicial function on a Sunday, though he can sit as a magistrate. The case could only have been .proceeded with had the man sufficient money to pay any fine which, if he had been convicted, might have been imposed. Had the case been heard and a fine inflicted, the order would have been unenforceable, as the Court was held on Sunday.
2-5-1942 FIRE AT CASTLECOOLE. BUILDINGS DESTROYED. An outbreak of fire occurred on Saturday afternoon in outhouses at Castlecoole, Enniskillen, the residence of the Earl of Belmore. The Enniskillen Town Brigade and the Auxiliary Fire Service, both under Mr. James Donnelly, town surveyor, receiving notification at ten minutes to one, were on the spot before one clock a quick turn-out which probably saved extensive buildings because the fire had gained a firm hold on the solid buildings and was burning fiercely. The efforts of the Brigades were chiefly directed towards confining the outbreak. Until. 2.30 p. m, the battle with the flames continued, ending only when about forty yards of the buildings had been destroyed roof and floors being burned out. The A.F.S. Brigade was under the immediate command of Mr. Freddy Bleakley with Mr. J. Lusted, A.F.S. chief in attendance.
2-5-1942 PARTY VOTE ECHO. FARTAGH COTTAGE TENANCY. An echo of a recent Enniskillen Rural Council party vote on a cottage tenancy was heard at Derrygonnelly Petty Sessions, on Friday, when the Council was granted a decree for possession of a cottage at Fartagh, against Miss Mary Millar. Miss Millar’s father was the tenant until his death a few months ago. Miss Millar applied for the cottage, but it was granted to a Unionist by a party vote of the Rural Council. Miss Millar is a Catholic.
2-5-1942 SEIZED BICYCLE AT BELLEEK BARRIER. JUDGE RECOMMENDS RETURN ON PAYMENT OF DUTY. Are bicycles liable to purchase tax? Although, according to Mr, George Dixon, Surveyor of customs and Excise for County Fermanagh the tax is collected throughout Great Britain and the Six Counties on bicycles, Mr. R. A. Herbert, L.B. (Messrs. Maguire and Herbert, Enniskillen contended during the course of an appeal at Enniskillen Quarter Sessions on Monday, before Deputy Judge Ellison, K.C., that the wording of the Section of the Act governing the matter makes bicycles not liable.
The appeal was one brought by Terence McGowan, of Ross, Tullyrossmearn, Co. Fermanagh, against an order of Major Dickie, R. M., forfeiting a bicycle under the Customs Acts. When cross-examining Mr. Dixon, the Customs Surveyor, Mr. Herbert referred the witness to the Finance Act No. 2, 1940, which created the Purchase-Tax, and stated that the schedule set out goods that were chargeable with purchase-tax. In the first column (that setting out goods charged at the basic rate of one third were the words: Road Vehicles and Cycles (whether mechanically propelled or not) being vehicles and cycles constructed or adapted solely or mainly for the carriage of passengers.” Mr. Dixon said that was the Section, which gave authority to charge purchase tax on bicycles. Mr. Herbert — Who would be the passenger on a bicycle?—He is his own. passenger. It is being definitely charged and paid all over the United Kingdom. It is time it was questioned. Mr. Herbert said a passenger was already interpreted in law. This boy cycling on this bicycle could not be said to be a passenger. Judge Ellison said he did not think the language in the Section was very neat for the purpose.
Mr. Herbert — It is very far from neat. He further argued that a machine constructed for one person to ride did not make the machine one “constructed for the carriage of passengers.” His Honour held against Mr. Herbert who raised the paint because one of the taxes the appellant was stated to have failed to pay was his purchase tax. Giving evidence for the respondent, Customs Officer George Forrest, Belleek, stated McGowan was cycling past the barrier there, not stopping, when witness called on him to stop, seeing that he was riding a new bicycle. McGowan in answer to witness’s questions said he belonged to Kiltyclogher, but produced a national registration, card with his address at Ross, Tullyrossmearn. He asked him to account for the fact that he had stated he was from Leitrim, while he was from Ross, and McGowan said he lived at both places off and on, and that he had been, living in the Six Counties for ten years. He said he had borrowed the bicycle from his brother in Kiltyclogher as his own had been stolen. He then offered to pay whatever was necessary. Witness seized the bicycle and an order for forfeiture was granted at the Petty Sessions. “There has not been one single instance,” said witness, “of where a bicycle has been smuggled and has been confirmed as having been smuggled into the Six Counties where the bicycle has not been stated to have been a borrowed bicycle although the bicycle has actually been new at the moment. In cross-examination by Mr. Herbert, witness said cyclists should stop, and go into the Customs hut if necessary.
Do you stop all cyclists? —I do if I am on the road. We all pass these huts and see what occurs?—Sometimes it is after five o’clock (when the Customs hut closes). George Dixon, Customs Surveyor at Enniskillen, stated a Customs duty of 30 per cent, ad valorem was chargeable on Eire-built machines unless satisfactory evidence was produced (a certificate of origin from the manufacturer) that the machine was Empire-made and that the cost of materials and labour involved reached a certain percentage. Mr. Herbert—Could it have been of anything but Empire origin in these days? –Witness stated he admitted the present circumstances, but still the certificate was necessary. Mr, Herbert—Playing with the law like a child, isn’t it?—No, it isn’t. Would you swear this is a foreign article?— I cannot swear it, but it is for the importer to displace the prima facie charge by providing evidence. Were these things drawn to the attention of’ the importer? —It is the importer’s duty, if he wishes to claim preference, to make a declaration that he claims preference.
Don’t you think it would only be fair before putting Customs duty into force that the attention of the importer should be drawn to the provisions? —Undoubtedly, if the citizen had come into the hut and stated he had imported it. Mr. Herbert—A sort of Please, sir, can I pass? Mr, Herbert said McGowan came from Kiltyclogher but had been staying with friends in Ross for some years off and on. This was the smallest thing he had ever come across in the Customs line The same sort of point was raised before where a solicitor in Donegal drove his, car up to the barrier and the Customs seized it as having been imported, but the car was subsequently returned. This boy came along a proper route at a proper time and his bicycle was seized. He had gone a hundred yards or two into Six- County territory. It was straining the law very far to say a certificate of origin was required. Why didn’t they tell him to go back? When he found out the position the boy offered to pay. Mr. Cooper said this was not the only case brought up at the same place. The snuggling of bicycles into the Six Counties was a wholesale business. Mr. Herbert—There is no evidence of that.
Judge Ellison said he should be inclined to confirm the order and say he thought this boy should be let off if he paid what he should pay. Mr. Cooper—-We will forward it to the Customs, and they will obey your Honour’s recommendation. Mr. Herbert said Major Dickie had stated that if the brother had appeared to say the bicycle belonged to him he would have given it back. Unfortunately the brother could not appear as he was engaged in munitions work in England. His Honour—I think Major Dickie’s view of that was the right one.
25-4-1942. BELNALECK YOUTH’S LAPSE. A Belnaleck youth’s lapse led to his appearance at Enniskillen Petty Sessions on .Monday, before Major Dickie, R.M., charged with, larceny. The defendant was John Patrick Boyle, Toneyteague, and the articles concerned were a coat value £4, a silver watch value £4, a gold watch valued about £5, and the sum of 5/-. District Inspector Peacocke, who prosecuted, said that the silver watch, coat, and the sum of 5/- had been recovered. Constable Ewart gave evidence of a statement made by defendant, and, in reply to Mr. P. J. Flanagan, LL.B. (defending), said that defendant made a clean breast of the whole thing. Mr. Flanagan said that this had come as a complete surprise to defendant’s parents and everybody else, as heretofore defendant had borne an unblemished character. “He says he simply did not know what came over him,” said Mr. Flanagan, who added that defendant was prepared to make restitution for the gold watch that had not been recovered. His Worship bound over defendant for two years in his own bail of £10 and one surety of £10. He also ordered him to pay within three months the sum of £5 to Mrs. Cathcart, Belnaleck, the owner of the gold watch, and 31/6 costs of the prosecution.
25-4-1942. £2 FINES FOR BAD LORRY BRAKES. ENNISKILLEN COURT CASES. At Enniskillen Petty Sessions on Monday Thomas Coogan, Gortnacallon, Newtownbutler, was summoned, as owner, for permitting a motor lorry to be used with inefficient brakes. James P. Connolly, Cloniston, Clones, was summoned as driver. Sergt. Sherrard said as a result of an accident he examined the motor lorry owned by Coogan and driven by Connolly. At 20 miles per hour Connolly was unable to stop the vehicle with the band brake before travelling 25 yards. The vehicle travelled a similar distance before being stopped by the footbrake. Constable Wilson, inspector of vehicles, said both brakes were defective on all wheels except the offside front. That was not due to the effects of the accident. Connolly did not appear. Coogan, in evidence, said the driver had full charge of the vehicle, and witness did not know that the brakes were defective. They had been adjusted a fortnight before. District-Inspector Peacocke—Can you say why Connolly is not here to-day?—I cannot; he was to be here. A fine of 40s was imposed on each summons. Sergt. Codd said both defendants were from the Twenty-Six Counties, and had temporary Six-County addresses.
25-4-1942. FRUITLESS SEARCH. TWO HOUR INCIDENT AT BELLEEK. A party of about thirty-six young men from the Enniskillen, district attended the great ceilidhe in O’Carroll’s Palais de Danse, Bundoran on Wednesday night of last week, to which parties came from the Six Counties. When the Enniskillen bus reached Belleek, just across the Border, in the Six Counties, on the return journey at about 4 a.m. they were met by a party of Enniskillen police under Head-Constable Thornton. The bus driver was ordered to proceed to the barracks. On arrival there, the dance patrons were taken into the barracks in groups of two and three at a time and were closely searched. Every particle of paper and article in the possession of each was taken out, placed on a table and examined thoroughly. The men had to take off their coats and these were gone through; several of the youths were made take off their boots and socks, which were minutely scrutinised. Three rooms at the barracks were engaged by the police party for the purpose and while the search proceeded three constables did duty with the young men in the bus whose turn had to come. In all the search took almost two hours and the bus did not .reach Enniskillen until after 8 a.m. An American who was on the bus, was not interfered with. The bus conveying the party from Belleek to the ceilidhe was also searched.
25-4-1942. A. O. H. DEVENISH DIVISION. The quarterly meeting, of the above Division was held in the A.O.H. Hall, Brollagh, on Sunday, 12th inst., the President occupying the chair. A vote of sympathy was passed to the relatives of the late Terence Keown, Larrigan, also to the relatives of the late James Reilly, Corrakeel. The motion was passed in silence.