Sunday, 25 August 2019

John Tucker ~ kept the gun as a souvenir

John Tucker was a first cousin of my great-grandfather, Patrick Wynne. He was born in Dublin city in 1873, the youngest son of James Tucker and Patrick’s maternal aunt, Catherine Hynes. In July 1932, John found himself accused of a gun crime. 

The 'offender' in this case was a brush-maker by trade, with an address at Lombard Street, West, off the South Circular Road, just like my cousin. So, I'm happy it was definitely him. He was charged in the Dublin District Court with the illegal possession of a .45 Webley revolver, without the certificate required by the Firearms Act. 

A Detective Officer Burns told the court he found the revolver in the possession of a young boy called Cooper at the South Circular Road. When Burns went to John Tucker’s house to question him about it, John admitted he had the gun since 1924. He kept it in the scullery of his home. The gun was issued to his son during his time in the Free State Army and John kept it as a souvenir when his son moved abroad. John didn’t think the revolver was any use.

D.O. Burns then added that Cooper and a young son of the defendant were about to be charged with the offence as well. And, with that, the court adjourned, and the defendant was remanded on £20 bail, to appear again the following Friday.

Except, the bloomin' newspapers didn’t follow up on the case the following week, so I don’t know what happened next! 😞

They also left out some pertinent details I would dearly love to know. Like, whose gun was it originally? Which son served in the National Army during the civil war? He wasn't listed in the Irish Army census taken in November 1922. So, did he join up in the weeks afterwards?  And, where ‘out foreign’ exactly was he living at the time of the court case?

Fergus Tucker and his bride Marie, 1948
Also, which 'young son' was about to be charged? That must have been John’s youngest, Fergus Tucker. He was fourteen years old at the time, born at the end of 1917. His brothers were all adults. 

I bet Fergus was in trouble at home after taking the gun outside to play, and as for for bringing the guards to the door!! 

Still, he got over it. Fergus Tucker went on to become a well-known Dublin tenor, playing the cabaret scene in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Source: Evening Herald, 26 July 1932, p.2; Irish Press, 7 April 1948, p. 2 and 7 July 1980, p. 1.


  1. Those bloomin' newspapers! That cracked me up. Loved this short and interesting post, Dara.

  2. Yes, I know how you feel. I have several stories that beg for a follow-up. I have to wonder what was going on that was more worthy of column inches than my ancestor.

    1. or, did the court reporter just take his summer holidays in August? Did they even get summer holidays in 1932?


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