Irish Barristers and the Dáil Courts, 1920

From The Weekly Freeman’s Journal, 24 July 1920:

“HELPLESS BARRISTERS

LEFT STRANDED IN THE FOUR COURTS

On Thursday last week, the action of D Coffey, Derrymilleen, Co. Cork, farmer, v Denis P O’Regan, Farransbesbary, Enniskeen, Co. Cork, farmer, was listed for hearing in the Chancery division before Mr Justice Powell. The plaintiff sought specific performance of an agreement for sale by the defendant.

When the case was called, Mr DB Sullivan BL said neither of the parties had turned up, read more

Mayo Courtship Ends in Substantial Award of Damages, 1925

From the Evening Herald (Dublin), 13 May 1925

“STRANGE WESTERN WOOING

FARMER WHO COURTED BY PROXY MULCTED FOR BREACH

COMPACT WITH PARENTS

LESSONS ON MELODEON AND A PAIR OF GLOVES

MARRIED ANOTHER

DEFENDANT UNASHAMED OF HIS CONDUCT

A farmer of 42 years, who sent emissaries to arrange a marriage with a girl half his age, figured as defendant in a breach of promise action in Ballina Circuit Court. He was ordered to pay £220 damages.  

One of the witnesses made the interesting statement that nine-tenths read more

‘Our Judges:’ Critiquing 24 Sitting Irish Judges, 1889-90

Though the grounds and means of complaint may have changed over time, there is nothing new about criticism of Irish judges.

As far back as 1826, one Daniel O’Connell petitioned for the removal of Lord Norbury, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, on the ground that he was 85, afflicted with deafness, and lethargic stupor which rendered him entirely unfit for discharging the duties of his office, as he frequently fell asleep during the most important trials.

Throughout the 19th century, almost read more

A Visit to the 1890 Law Library

In 1890, Irish Society (Dublin) decided, with the help of one ‘A M’Lud,’ to give its readers a day out in the Four Courts. The first part of the ensuing visit, featured here, took us to the Round Hall. Today, we accompany ‘M’Lud,’ a practising barrister, to the original Law Library located just behind. M’Lud’s piece gives us an intimate picture of the final days of read more

A Day in the Four Courts, 1890

From Irish Society (Dublin), 8 November 1890:

“‘A DAY IN THE FOUR COURTS

BY A M’LUD

For those who cannot spare time for a corporeal visit to the Temple of Justice, let them come with me now in spirit, and I will be their guide, philosopher, and friend in an imaginary personally-conducted tour through the noble pile of buildings in Inns Quay, which forms the material home and domicile of Irish law.

Let us be at the courts by a quarter to eleven of the clock, and read more

Lord Leitrim’s Hearse Attacked by Mob in Church Street, 1878

From the Irishman, 13 April 1878:

EXTRAORDINARY SCENE

The remains of the late Earl of Leitrim arrived at St Michan’s Cemetery, Church Street, Dublin, about half-past two o’clock.  When the remains came into Church-Street the hearse was surrounded by two or three hundred persons, mostly comprised of the middle and lower classes.  On the funeral cortege coming to a halt a scene of great disorder was witnessed, popular feeling being strongly manifested by the crowd, who pushed, read more

Judge Gets the Boot on his First Day in Court, 1890

From the New Ross Standard, 18 January 1890:

Judge Hickson’s first experience of judicial life has been rather perilous, but he exhibited great nerve and self-possession. The practice of throwing slippers after a married couple on their wedding day ‘for luck’ is on the decline, as, however friendly the motive, the act was attended with some risk. It was not for luck, however, that a man named Finerty, from the dock at Tullamore on Thursday, inaugurated the judicial read more

Taken by the Fairies, 1840-1924

From the Freeman’s Journal, 2 February 1924:

“At a Special Court in Tullamore, before Mr Flanagan PC, Esther Smith, no fixed address, was remanded in custody on a charge of obtaining £3 and goods by false pretences and threats from Mary Murray, farmer’s wife, Moneyquid, Killeigh.

Mary Murray stated that Smith said one end of witness’s house was built on a ‘pass’ and that the other end of the house was the lucky end.  Accused said she was sent there by the ‘good people,’ read more

Much Guarding, Little Action, Scrambling Breakfasts: the Irish Lawyers’ Corps and the Rebellion of 1798

Shoulder Belt Plate worn by a member of the Irish Lawyers’ Corps, c. 1796

Despite many parades, and much drilling, the question of what that notable barrister militia company, the Lawyers’ Corps, actually did during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 went unanswered for many years. Indeed, it might never have been resolved at all had the Dublin Daily Express not belatedly managed to unearth the diary of an anonymous 24-year-old barrister member of the Corps and publish it in a centenary edition of 27th August 1898. Its contents make interesting reading!

1798: May read more

Singing for its Supper: The Choir of Christ Church Pays Homage to the Court of Exchequer, 1851

From the Belfast News-Letter, 1 December 1851:

“In the Court of Exchequer, on Saturday week, the clergymen and choristers from Christ Church Cathedral appeared and performed their accustomed homage, by singing an anthem and saying prayers. At the entrance of the minister and choristers the barons arose and continued standing during the ceremony.”

The Court of Exchequer was where Court 3 is today, charmingly located over a cesspit read more