Reprieve Petition Refusal: The Irish Press, 2nd Sept 1942

Mr. Marrinan had earlier gone to Stormont hoping to interview the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrews. He was accompanied by Mr. C. E. Reddin, Dublin Secretary Licensed Grocers and Vintners Association. Unable to see Mr. Andrews, Mr. Marrinan saw the Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. Robert Gransden, before the Cabinet meeting began.

Mr. Marrinan said that Williams, out of loyalty to his comrades, accepted the guilt in his alleged voluntary statement and that position was not accepted at the trial. Why did tho Cabinet reverse that procedure and use Williams’ statement to decide his fate? Medical evidence disclosed that there were five wounds in the constable’s body, and the evidence showed that the bullet which passed through the heart causing instant death, was not caused by Williams. Prayers were said by groups of people in streets in the Falls Road area to-night. The Rosary was said outside the house in Bombay Street where Williams lived with his grandmother, Mrs. Fay.

The Reprieve Committee in Dublin stated last night that in the event of Williams’ execution every business was expected to close down to-day between 11 and 12 noon. The public are expected to attend places of worship and offer prayers for the repose of the.soul of Williams. Last evening Mr .Shane Leslie, who is staying in Dublin, had an interview with Messrs. Sean MacBride, L. J. Duffy and Roger McHugh, representing the Reprieve Committee. It was later announced that Mr. Leslie forwarded to the Duke of Abercorn the following telegram: “Recalling days of chivalrous rivalry at Derry and acknowledging your dignity and humanity under the present difficulties, I venture to believe that you can secure a common sympathy amongst all Irishmen. In days when Irishmen on both sides of the Boyne are meeting a common enemy. I believe a single stroke of your pen could secure peace and good feeling in Ireland for the rest of our time“.

Mr. Leslie, as a Nationalist candidate, contested Derry City against the Duke, then representing the unionist interest, at the first general election in 1910.

Before blackout a crowd of children assembled outside the prison and knelt in prayer. They were moved on by the police and they marched away towards the city centre singing, :

Mr. C. B, Reddin, Secretary of the Licensed Grocers’ and Vintners’ Association, announced in Belfast last night it was the request of his Association that all licensed premises in the Twenty-Six Counties should close their premises’to-day (Wednesday) from 11 to 12 noon. Before going to Stormont, Mr Reddin had a conference with Senator T. Lynch, Councillor J. Kilpatrick, Capt. Denis Ireland, President of the Ulster Union Club, and Mr. Eamonn Donnelly.


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