I love this site and am pleased to have joined. I'm researching the incident of 2 Feb 1921 when 2 Black & Tans, William Mitchell & Arthur Hardie, who were based at Dunlavin RIC Barrackcs, set out to rob a local JP (Robt Dixon) and, in the course of the bungled robbery, Hardie shot the JP and his son. Dixon senior died. The next day, Hardie committed suicide, leaving Mitchell, who had gone to the robbery with an unloaded gun, to be tried by court-martial and hanged. A third cousin of mine is related to Mitchell and I am helping her with the family history research. I have a huge amount of information, including trial transcripts, press reports etc., but I still have a couple of mysteries, the answers to which elude me.
A Robert J. Delaney gave evidence and was warned by the court not to say anything which would identify him and his precise role. He let slip however that he had arranged the investigation and an identity parade and that Mitchell had been 'in my charge'. I checked Jim Herlihy's book which lists the RIC officers but there are no Delaneys listed. I checked his other book (at TNA) which lists the constables and I found only a Robert Joseph Delaney  of King's County, recruited at age 23 on 16 Dec 1857 and posted to Co Tipperary in 1858 but resigned in 1860. This is unlikely to be the same man, however, as he would have been aged 87 in 1921. Additionally, four of the constables and seniors who gave evidence prejudicial to Mitchell do not appear in either book nor on the microfiche registers at TNA. I wondered if Delaney might have been an intelligence officer? Would they routinely have used false names (perhaps he was allowed to use a false name just for the court hearing, which was not in camera)? Has anyone else found errors or omissions in Herlihy's lists and the registers? I wondered if the UK recruited B&Ts and auxiliaries were not listed, but I found several of them there, including the notorious 'Major' King of Dublin Castle (F company). Would anyone know who the intel officer for Dunlavin or Wicklow was? Did each barracks have an intel officer in the first half of 1921?
I wondered also about the other constable who was tried for murder and found guilty but insane (Vernon Hart, in Co Cork - I understand his 'insanity' was in fact delirium tremens, brought on by alcoholism). Does anyone know what sentence he got? I believe he did not hang, in fact I understand Mitchell was the only one of the crown forces to be hanged for murder during the Irish War of Independence. If anyone has any information or advice, I should be most grateful.