On this day 8th, March 1927
On this Day-'Scene in Strabane school'
AT a children’s court at Strabane, Co Tyrone yesterday, Elizabeth Love (a child), by Elizabeth Love, her mother and next-of-kin, Townsend Street, Strabane, summoned William John Duke, principal teacher, Abercorn Public Elementary School, Strabane, for alleged assault by beating her with a cane; and William J Duke, Strabane, summoned Mrs Elizabeth Love for alleged assault on the same date by striking him at his school with a clenched fist. The child, stated to be aged seven, stated that Mr Duke slapped her on the hand and she cried. Mrs Elizabeth Love said she saw from the child’s appearance that it had been very severely beaten and she took her to Dr McElhinney and the child was still under doctor’s care. Mr Duke told her he had missed books and blamed her child and he told her the child admitted taking one. The child’s fingers were all swollen
The principal, William John Duke said that he missed 17 copybooks out of parcels. The girl admitted to him that she took three. Mrs Lyons, the assistant teacher, was present when he punished the girl. He gave her two slaps on each hand with the cane. He told how he sent for Mrs Love and the conversation that ensued. She called him ‘a terrible brute’, caught him by the throat and shook him, and then catching him by one hand, slapped him on the face. Mrs Isabella Lyons, assistant teacher, said that Mrs Love’s conduct in the school created pandemonium. When she told Mrs Love to let go Mr Duke, Mrs Love lifted a bell and said, ‘I will split you with it if you interfere’. She saw her hit Mr Duke several times on the face with her hand. Dr McElhinney wrote to the court that he was unable to attend, but enclosed a certificate in connection with the case. The cases were adjourned for the attendance of Dr McElhinney at the next petty sessions that day fortnight, to give evidence.