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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Read More

Barristers’ Term-Time Immunity from Arrest for Debt, 1860

From the Irish Times, 1 February 1860: “[In] Rubenstein v O’Hara… an application was made for the purposes of discharging the defendant, a practising barrister, from arrest [for debt]. The plaintiff… left home to attend the hall of the Four Courts [without an] actual brief, but in the course of the day, he was instructed…

Read More

House Party with Legal Associations Ends in Accusations of Theft, 1844

From the Freeman’s Journal, 13 June 1844: “Laurence Broderick, a decent looking person, residing at Capel Street, was charged with having robbed Eliza Lee, who used to sell fruit and cakes about the hall of the Four Courts, of the sum of £1.15s.1d [Miss Lee] said that she, with another female and Mr Flood, a…

Read More

Tardy Judge Fines Solicitors Who Fail to Wait, 1899

From the Daily Nation, 19 January 1899: “SIR- Reading from to-day’s ‘Legal Diary’, I find that Judge Ross [was] announced to sit at 11 o’clock.  His Lordship, however, did not sit until after 12 o’clock. Owing to the erratic sitting of the court a large number of barristers and solicitors were not in attendance at…

Read More

ADR Irish Style, Pre-1850

From the Kentish Gazette, 5 February 1850: “A famous duellist challenged an Irish barrister, for some remark made by the barrister when the duellist was giving his testimony on the stand in an important case. The barrister knew precisely as much about fighting as a fancy boxer knows about Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost.’ His friends told…

Read More

Young Bar Protest Against Judicial Unpunctuality, 1919

From the Belfast Telegraph, 2 December 1919: “Some judges and junior barristers acted a little comedy in the Four Courts yesterday. When Judge Samuels had disposed of some appeals, he left Court No 1… some 12 junior barristers having motions to move became impatient and left the Court, informing the Registrar that he could tell…

Read More

A Railway Mystery, 1905

From the Irish Independent, 2 June 1905: “Mr John D Gerrard, BA BL, while travelling by the 6.45 p.m. train from Bray to Dublin on Wednesday evening was the victim of an accident which is still shrouded in mystery. Shortly after reaching Dundrum, Mr Gerrard leaned out the carriage window. Suddenly he received a heavy…

Read More

Solicitor Caned in Four Courts Yard Over Missed Deed, 1846

From the Dublin Evening Post, 26 November 1846: “Mr Richard Hackett, solicitor, summoned Mr Michael Hackett, also solicitor, for assault. The complainant gave evidence that he was in the yard of the Four Courts [when] the defendant, in passing by, asked him to return him a deed. The complainant replied that the deed was not…

Read More

No Palles: Health Crisis in Court 3, 1877

When cleaning out the cesspit below the Court of Exchequer in 1854, no one seems to have thought that it might refill even before future barristers conceived in that year had emerged from their chrysalis of devilling. Certainly not Christopher Palles, when he took on the job of Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer at…

Read More

Barrister Convicted of Knocker-Wrenching, 1870

From the Liverpool Courier and Commercial Advertiser, 12 May 1870 “George Carr, barrister… [was] charged with having wrenched off a knocker from the hall-door of the house 44 Dawson-Street between the hours of one and two o’clock on Tuesday… one of the constables observed the accused leaving a hotel in Dawson Street and then stand…

Read More

The Lord Chief Justice-v-Anna Liffey, 1870-1875

The abatement of the cesspit below Court 3, while resolving, at least temporarily, olfactory issues specific to that court, served to expose – for want of any other criminal – the river Liffey herself as the source of that lingering bad odour still smelt, on warm summer days, in the courts surrounding the Round Hall.…

Read More

Cab Driver Convicted of Overcharging a Barrister, 1895

From the Waterford Standard, 13 July 1895: “On Thursday last, at the City Police Court, a man named James Casey, a car-driver in the city, summoned by the Corporation for charging in excess of what was authorised by the Council. Mr E Feely BL, who was the witness in the case, said that on the…

Read More

Mr Bushe Elopes, 1885

From the Weekly Freeman, 5 June 1886: “ARISTOCRATIC DIVORCE CASE FROM IRELAND. Mr. Gerald Brooke applied to have his marriage annulled in consequence of [his wife’s] infidelity with Mr. Seymour Bushe, barrister, Dublin… on Friday, 3rd October 1885, unfortunate unpleasantness arose about a comparatively insignificant tiff about a pet dog—at which the lady announced her…

Read More

Four Courts Bag-Carriers and the Great Robing-Room Heist, 1882

From the Freeman’s Journal, 20 October 1882: “Maryanne Mulvey and Christopher Mulvey, “bag carriers” employed at the Four Courts, were brought up by Constables 97D and 113D charged with having stolen from one of the Four Courts’ dressing rooms, between the 7th and 15th October, a morning coat value £1, the property of Mr Jellet…

Read More