Barristers Successfully Challenge Exclusion from Side Passages of Court, 1848

In an era in which the courts, and not parliament, served as the primary venue for Irish political theatre, one significant side benefit of being a barrister was the opportunity of a ringside seat!

The Kilkenny Journal, 24 May 1848, contains a report of an interesting minor skirmish which occurred in the course of the trial for sedition of the Young Irelander Thomas Francis Meagher, transported to Van Diemen’s Land for life later that year:

Mr French, High Sheriff… ordered read more

Doing ‘Circuit’ in a Motor, 1907

From the Freeman’s Journal, 2 July 1907:

The march of science received a new illustration at the Four Courts yesterday, when some half-dozen members of the Leinster Circuit started in a motor car from the Four Courts for Nenagh, at which town the Assizes open today. The car was a big one of the St Denis pattern, and this new way of going the rounds of the Leinster Circuit was the subject of a great deal of comment. Other members of the Bar spoke of the innovation with evident read more

Three Legal Men and a Baby, 1832

From the Dublin Morning Register, 27 March 1832;

“On Friday last, an infant child was picked up by a girl of the town in one of the piazzas, at the Four Courts, where women of her character are nightly accustomed to resort. She… attempted to lodge it with the watchman on the station, by whom she was taken into custody… and was brought up before three magistrates yesterday morning. [A]n application [was] made to the Mendicity [Institution] read more

Solicitor Restrained from Breaking Through Judicial Procession Sues for Assault, 1898

From the Weekly Nation, 30 April 1898:

“Constable 141A was summoned [for assault] by Mr Alfred MacDermott, solicitor.

Mr McDermott said he was crossing under the covered passage at the coffee room door of the Four Courts [when he got] a blow across the chest from the defendant… he was seized from behind by the defendant by the collar and pushed up against a stone pillar and held there.  The next thing he heard was Judge Johnson saying “Let go that gentleman; he is a solicitor.”

Cross-examined: read more

Barrister Railway Fatalities, 1862-1921

From the Dublin Evening Telegraph, 11 January 1921:

“The sad news of the tragic death of Mr Henry Kennedy, a member of the Irish Bar, in Switzerland on Saturday night reached the Four Courts today.  It appears that while getting into a train about 11.30 p.m. at the frontier on his way home, he missed his footing and was killed on the spot.  The deceased gentleman was a son of the late Mr HP Kennedy, formerly Crown Solicitor for County Cavan, and brother of Mr Vincent Kennedy, read more