The below interesting debate took place between Thomas Nagle, TD for North Cork, and George Nicholls, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, during Question Time in Dáil Eireann on Tuesday, 19 May 1925.
TOMAS DE NOGLA: asked the Minister for Defence if he is aware that Mr. A. Duggan, Millstreet, Co. Cork, has been refused compensation in respect of damage done to a car by collision with a military lorry, which it is stated was travelling very fast, and, if so, if he will agree to reconsider the claim.
Mr. NICHOLLS: I regret that I cannot agree to reconsider Mr. Duggan’s claim for compensation in respect of damage alleged to have been done to his car by collision with a military lorry.
Mr. NAGLE: Are any damages paid in cases where military lorries injure private persons’ property?
Mr. NICHOLLS: This accident occurred on the 2nd December, 1922, at midnight, after a Crossley tender had passed two other carts without any untoward results. Exhaustive inquiries have been made in connection with the claim which is for £9 4s. 6d. in respect of upset to a cart containing cases of whiskey, wine, etc.
Whilst the tender did, apparently, touch the cart slightly, it appears that the fact is that the horse took fright at the approach of the tender, and got into a dyke on the side of the road. Even so, it seems that no damage was done.
Mr. NAGLE: Is the Minister aware that Captain Hyde, who was in charge of the lorry, admitted that there was a certain amount of carelessness on the part of the military, and gave as a reason to Mr. Duggan that they were in the habit of putting on full speed going through this particular part of the country outside Millstreet; that they were always expecting that they might be ambushed there and went unusually fast; that he said he was very sorry for the accident and admitted he was liable for it?
Mr. NICHOLLS: Captain Hyde emphatically denies that he made any such statement.
Mr. NAGLE: Is the Minister aware that from information I got Captain Hyde evidently says one thing to his superior officers and another to an aggrieved civilian?
TOMAS DE NOGLA: asked the Minister for Defence if he is aware that Mr. A. Duggan, Millstreet, Co. Cork, has been refused compensation in respect of the accidental shooting of a cow, his property, by a member of the National Army when quartered on his premises, and, if so, if he will agree to reconsider the claim.
Mr. NICHOLLS: I regret that I cannot agree to reconsider Mr. Duggan’s claim for compensation in respect of the accidental shooting of a cow.
Mr. NAGLE: Will the Parliamentary Secretary give the reasons for the refusal?
Mr. NICHOLLS: The cow was examined by the officer in charge, and he found that there was no serious injury.
Mr. NAGLE: Is the Minister aware that I brought this matter before the late Minister for Defence twelve months ago, and that I stated at that time my information was that the soldier responsible for the discharge of a machine-gun which he was cleaning, had his eye knocked out by the bullet; that it afterwards hit the ground and rebounded, striking the cow and killing it? If the cow died, the information given that there was no serious injury, seems to be very peculiar.
Sounds like we have our own case of a magic bullet, just like that of President John F. Kennedy !
The extract is from the records of the Oireachteas Debates of the time [here].
On a side note, does anyone know who is the person looking out the window of Andrew Duggan’s hardware store?