Law Library Staff Member Leaves Bride at Altar, 1842

From the Dublin Monitor, 8 August 1842, an interesting account of an action for breach of promise brought by Maria Ormsby, of North Strand, against William Supple, a member of staff in the Law Library: “Mr P Casserly, for the Plaintiff, said that he need not tell the jury, that a person holding office in…

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Solicitor Delays Discovery to Protect Morals of Lady Typists, 1906

From the Mail, 15 August 1906: “DUBLIN SOLICITOR AND HIS LADY TYPISTS In the Probate and Matrimonial Division, today, in the case of Fitzgerald v Fitzgerald, known as the Waterford matrimonial case, Mr Rice applied on behalf of the male petitioner for an order directing Mr Shannon, the solicitor on the other side, to give…

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Judicial Assassination Attempt at Corner of Leinster Street and Kildare Street Foiled by Observant Pensioner, 1882

From the Kirkaldy Times, 15 November 1882: “A daring attempt was made to assassinate Mr Justice Lawson on Saturday night, in Dublin.  He had an engagement to dine at the King’s Inn and left his house in Fitzwilliam Street for that purpose.  The guard by which the judge has recently been always accompanied consisted of…

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Apprentice Solicitor Swordfight on Eve of Qualification, 1717

A very early Irish legal story, from Pue’s Occurrences, 31 January 1719:   “About 3 quarters after 2 in the Afternoon, Mr Leigh, eldest Son of Richard Leigh Esq of the County of Westmeath, and one Mr Smith, Son to Mr Smith, at the Sun near Smithfield (who served his Time to an Attorney, and was…

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Bomb Outrages in the Four Courts, 1893

From the Globe, 7 May 1893: “At about 20 minutes to 11 o’clock at night a serious explosion occurred at the Four Courts, Dublin.  The substance, whatever it may have been, and it is generally believed to have been glycerine encased in a metallic vessel, was evidently thrown by some person passing along the quay,…

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A Stolen Judicial Lunch Goes Viral, 1912

From the Derry Journal, 21 February 1912: “JUDGE KENNY’S LUNCH Luncheon was spread in his private chamber in the Four Courts, Dublin, for Judge Kenny, when, about 1.30 p.m., a tramp entered and lost no time in helping himself to his lordship’s meal. The Judge’s attendant on entering found this audacious visitor in the act…

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Ballymoney Barrister Treats Servants as Guests, 1913

From the Jarrow Express, 21 July 1913: “A remarkable defence was made in a case in which Mr Robert Cramsie, barrister-at-law, of Ballymoney, Co Antrim, was prosecuted before the local magistrates by the Irish Insurance Commissioners for failing to pay the contributions under the National Insurance Act in respect of three employees. The defence was…

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From ‘Back Hair’ to Go-Go Boots: Fashion and the Female Barrister, 1921-1967

From the Belfast News-Letter, 21 January 1922, this account of an interview with Frances Kyle, Ireland’s (technically) first woman barrister, having been called a couple of minutes or so before her colleague Averil Deverell: “‘How do you like the wig,’ I asked as the short winter afternoon closed in, and we rose to say ‘good-bye.’…

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Irish Solicitor Efficiently Rescued After Falling Off Dublin-Holyhead Ferry mid-Channel, 1932

From the Belfast Telegraph, 26 October 1932: “Passengers on the RMS Scotia from Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown) to Holyhead on Tuesday night witnessed the rescue of an Irish solicitor, Mr O’Connor.  It appears that somewhere about mid-channel he fell overboard.  The ship was stopped and one of the lifeboats lowered, and after a time Mr O’Connor…

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Hot, and More Often Not: Calibrating the Four Courts, 1796-1922

From the Freeman’s Journal, 15 December 1881: “The Hall of the Four Courts was an exceedingly cold as well as a comparatively deserted place.  In all the Divisional Courts, magnificent fires were kept up – each of them big enough to roast an ox – but these for the most part were engrossed by shivering,…

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Judges Accompanied to Assizes by Armed Convoys, 1920-21

From the Belfast News-Letter, 2 July 1920: “WELL GUARDED JUDGES AT SUMMER ASSIZES Practically all the judges going out on circuit in the Irish Summer Assizes yesterday travelled by motor car, in view of the possibility that they would be held up if they journeyed by train. At every assize town armed judges and police…

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Breach of Promise Proceedings by Smitten Solicitor’s Clerk, 1892

From the Freeman’s Journal, 9 January 1892: “A DUBLIN BREACH OF PROMISE CASE Yesterday Master Pigott sat in the Master’s office to hear a case of Lee v Doyle.  The defendant, describing himself as Richard Lee, solicitor’s assistant, 17 Walton Terrace, Drumcondra Park Upper, sued Miss Marion Doyle, 15 Kenmare Park, spinster, to recover £100…

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Slanging it Out: The Vernacular in the Courtroom, 1872-1942

From the Belfast News-Letter, 5 March 1930: “The use of the letters ‘BL’ after the name of a barrister-at-law was condemned by the Lord Chief Justice (the right Hon William Moore) in the King’s Bench division of the Northern Law Courts yesterday. Legal documents before his Lordship included the name of a lady barrister who…

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Popular Killarney Solicitor Disappears after Derby Win, Turns Up Decades Later in South Africa, 1886-1906

From the Kerry Evening Post, 19 June 1886: “The public who are conversant with the facts of the sudden and mysterious disappearance in London of Mr Alfred M Bernard, Solicitor, of Sheheree, near Killarney, where he was on official business, entertain the gravest apprehension that he met with foul play, and, indeed, everything surrounding the…

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