Derry Recorder Tests Lady’s Raincoat for Water Ingress, 1929

From the Derry Journal, 12 April 1929:





A barrister, two solicitors, the Court Registrar and the Court Caretaker spent fifteen minutes in Derry Courthouse yesterday testing the quality of a waterproof coat, a garment which was much on view during the hearing of a claim for £2 by Mrs Johanna Quinn, of Redcliffe, Dunfield Terrace, Waterside, against Messrs. Goorwitch Ltd., for alleged breach of warranty.

Mr read more

A Barrister’s Privilege Against Physical Retribution for Hurt Feelings, 1821

From Saunders’s News-Letter, 27 November 1821:


On Saturday a conditional order was obtained by Counsellor Blackburne, the plaintiff, against Mr Hines, an attorney, for sending a Gentleman to him in the Hall of the Four Courts, to demand an explanation of account of some misunderstanding between them, and for telling him that he must abide the consequences of a refusal.

Mr Sergeant Vandeleur, on behalf of the defendant, contended that the rule ought not to be made absolute, read more

Leonard McNally, Barrister Lyricist, 1787-9

Irish barristers often have many unexpected talents – and Leonard McNally BL was no exception.

Not only did ‘McNally the Incorruptible’ purport to act as defence counsel for Irish barrister revolutionaries Robert Emmet (above) and the Sheares Brothers while simultaneously informing on them to the authorities, but he was also a songwriter on the side.

McNally (above, at Emmet trial) was in fact the unlikely protagonist of one of the Bar of Ireland’s legendary read more

Take Off That Ugly Mask: The Problem of Barristers’ Hirsute Appendages, 1866-1896

From the Irish Times, 12 and 17 November 1863:

“SIR – The press has ever been the resort of those who have a grievance to complain of.  I trust therefore, you will give me an opportunity of saying a few words against the custom which has compelled so many members of the bar, at the approach of Term, to use the devastating razor and to remove that ornament of the manly countenance which they have cultivated with such care during the long vacation.  Truly, sir, the consternation read more

The Mythical Miss Staveley and the Bamboozled Bar Benevolent Fund, 1927

From the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 17 March 1927:

A remarkable story of the perpetration of frauds on many prominent people both in this country and in Ireland was told at Highgate yesterday, when John LM Reddington, alias Edward McLaughlin (59), of 451 Archway Road, Highgate, was charged with obtaining £1 by false pretences from Mr Andrew Charles O’Connor, formerly Master of the Rolls In Ireland and further with obtaining £25 by false pretences from the Benevolent Society read more