Compliments from a Four Courts’ Prisoner, 1916

From the Irish Independent, 15 May 1916:


Captain RK Brereton, JP, Ladywell, Athlone, relating his experiences in Dublin during the rising, states that he motored through the Phoenix Park on Easter Monday evening, and was taken prisoner by the Sinn Feiners at a barricade near the Four Courts, being informed that “war had been declared with the British;” that “three contingents of Germans were landing in Dublin” and “that the Irish regiments had refused to turn read more

Irish Woman Barrister Secures Acquittal for Client on Murder Charge, 1931

From the Waterford Standard, 14 March 1931:


When she defended Mary Ellen Farrelly, Goiley, Fordstown, Kells, at the Central Criminal Court, Dublin, this week, Miss K Phelan BL won the first murder case in which she had pleaded.

Farrelly was charged with the murder of her infant son, Thomas, on January 5th or 6th last, and the jury found her not guilty and she was discharged.

Miss Phelan, a promising young lady barrister, is daughter of the late read more

Son of Court 2 Housekeeper Kills Son of Court 3 Housekeeper in 22 Rounds at Bully’s Acre, 1816

From the Belfast Commercial Chronicle Dublin 2 May, 1816:

“On Tuesday evening, two young men of the names of John Goold and Michael White, had a regular pitched battle in the field near the Military Road, which terminated, after two-and-twenty rounds, by blow given by the latter to the stomach of the former, which put an end to the battle, and the life of Goold together.

These young men were the sons of two housekeepers of the Four Courts, Goold’s mother having the care of the Court of Common read more

Barrister Rescues Sheep, Sued by its Owner, 1907

From the Northern Whig, 29 October 1907

“It is not the first time that trop de zele has brought trouble upon honest people.  The eagerness of Mr Robert Doyle, a member of the Irish Bar, in the cause of prevention of cruelty to animals, made him a defendant in an action for damages in the Recorder’s Court today.

Matthew Gahan, a County Wexford farmer, sent 320 sheep through Dublin to be shipped for England a few months ago.  On the way from the railway station to the inspection read more

The Prime of Miss Averil Deverell BL, 1937

All members of the Irish Bar know of Averil Deverell, whose enigmatic representation in oils smiles down, Brodie-like, from the wall of the Four Courts Law Library.

Miss Deverell holds the distinction of being not only the first practising woman barrister in Southern Ireland but also one of the first (possibly the only?) set of twins at the Irish Bar, her twin brother Captain William Deverell featuring in the same call of 1921.

Although not possible to go back in time and see Miss Deverell on read more

Plumber’s Assistant Dies in Bankruptcy Court Explosion, 1888

From the Dublin Daily Express, 24 January 1888:


About half-past three o’clock yesterday afternoon, a terrific gas explosion occurred in the Bankruptcy Buildings of the Four Courts, and resulted in the death of one lad, the injury of two other persons, and the destruction of a considerable portion of the premises.  The report of the explosion was tremendous, and was heard over a considerable portion of the city, and even read more

Barrister Goes on Fire in Ballina Circuit Court, 1934

From the Meath Chronicle, 24 November 1934:


Mr Connolly, a barrister, was addressing Judge Wyse-Power in Ballina (Co Mayo) Circuit Court, when his gown came in contact with an electric fire and blazed up. A solicitor dashed forward and put out the flames after a good part of the gown had been burnt. “I must apologise for going on fire,” was Mr Connolly’s comment, before continuing his address.”

Such sang-froid! So who was this imperturbable read more

A Four Courts Hold-Up, 1920

From the Irish Examiner, 2 December 1920:


Our Dublin Correspondent wired last night.  Shortly before 4 o’clock this afternoon a sensation was caused at the Four Courts by the arrival of a party of Auxiliary Police wearing tam-o-shanters.  They came in motors and scattered all over the buildings, holding all approaches and barring all exits.  Barristers and others having business in the Courts  were held up on leaving read more

Along for the Ride, Pre-Railway

From the Connaught Telegraph, 14 March 1914, this interesting account of the periodic sittings of the Courts of Assizes, which, until their abolition in 1924, had jurisdiction outside Dublin over the most serious criminal offences:

The arrival of the train by which their lordships and the members of the circuit travel in modern times, is always eagerly awaited by a large majority of the people living within the radius of the assize area…  The High Sheriff of the County, with read more

Lady Law Clerks Strike Out, 1920

From the Irish Examiner, 3 June, 1920

“The Law Clerks, who are on strike, and a number of their colleagues, who joined with them in sympathy, made a remarkable demonstration at the Four Courts today, on the occasion of the resumption of business there on the opening of Trinity Term.  At about 10 o’clock, to the number of about 250, of whom a large number were ladies, the demonstrators marched in procession from their headquarters in College St.  Arrived at the Four Courts, they read more