My Lords and Gentlemen, – it is not my intention to occupy much of your time in answering your question. Your question is one that can be easily asked, but requires an answer which I am ignorant of. Abler and more eloquent men could not answer it. Where were the men who have stood in the dock – Burke, Emmet and others, who have stood in the dock in defence of their country? When the question was put, what was their answer? Their answer was null and void. Now, with your permission, I will review a portion of the evidence that has been brought against me.
Here Mr. Justice Blackburne interrupted: “It was too late to criticise the evidence, and the Court had neither the right nor the power to alter or review it. If, you have any reason to give why, either upon technical or moral grounds, the sentence should not be passed upon you, we will hear it, but it is too late for you to review the evidence to show that it was wrong.” “Cannot that be done in the morning, Sir?”, asked Allen, but the Judge said not. “No one could alter or review the evidence in any way after the verdict had been passed by the jury. We can only take the verdict as right; and the only question for you is, why judgement should not follow.” The prisoner proceeded to deliver the following address:
No man in this court regrets the death of Sargeant Brett more than I do, and I positively say, in the presence of the Almighty and ever-living God, that I am innocent, aye, as innocent as any man in this court. I don’t say this for the sake of mercy; I want no mercy – I’ll have no mercy. I’ll die, as many thousands have died, for the sake of their beloved land, and in defence of it. I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people. Is it possible we are asked why sentence should not be passed upon us, on the evidence of prostitutes off the streets of Manchester, fellows out of work, convicted felons – aye, an Irishman sentenced to be hanged when an English dog would have got off. I say positively and defiantly, justice has not been done me since I was arrested. If justice had been done me, I would not have been handcuffed at the preliminary investigation in Bridge Street; and in this court justice has not been done me in any shape or form. I was brought up here, and all the prisoners by my side were allowed to wear overcoats, and I was told to take mine off. What is the principle of that? There was an obvious object in that; and so I say positively that justice has not been done me. As for the other prisoners, they can speak for themselves with regard to that matter.
And now with regard to the other means by which I have been identified. I have to say that my clothes were kept for four hours by the policemen in Fairfield station, and shown to parties to identify me as being one of the perpetrators of this affair on Hyde Road. Also in Albert station a handkerchief was kept on my head the whole night, so that I could be identified the next morning in the corridor by the witnesses. I was ordered to leave on the handkerchief so that the witnesses could more plainly see I was one of the parties alleged to have committed the outrage. As for myself, I feel the righteousness of my every act with regard to what I have done in defence of my country. I have no fear. I am fearless of any punishment that can be inflicted on me. One remark more. I return Mr. Seymour and Mr. Jones my sincere and heartfelt thanks for their eloquent and able advocacy regarding my part in this affray. I wish also to return to Mr. Roberts the very same. My name, Sir, might be wished to be known. It is not William O’Meara Allen. My name is William Phillip Allen. I was reared in Bandon, in the county of Cork, and from that place I take my name. I am proud of my country, and proud of my parentage. My Lords, I have done.