Chief Baron Palles at Home, 1898

Mountainville House, later Knockrabo, Dublin, summer residence of Lord Chief Baron Palles between 1885 and 1920. In the late 19th century, the practice grew up among Irish judges of keeping a summer residence in the Dublin suburbs. Image via Historical Stillorgan.

From the Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail, 26 November 1898, this remarkable account of a ‘Hello’ type visit to the summer home of the last Lord Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer:

“In the current issue of the ‘World’, Lord Chief Baron Palles is the ‘Celebrity at Home’   The writer of the article gives a delightful pen picture of the Chief Baron at his beautiful residence, Mount Annville, Dundrum, with some sidelights on his favourite pursuits. 

Mount Annville is described read more

Suffragette Stones Home of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, 1913

From the Derry Journal, 13 May 1913:


I’m sorry I hadn’t time to do more.  Don’t you know I’m a suffragette?” was the answer given by a woman named Mary Fisher when arrested on a charge of smashing a window in the residence at Stillorgan of Lord O’Brien, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

In his evidence in the Dublin Police Court on Wednesday, Constable O’Brien [no relation] said he saw accused enter the front gate of Lord O’Brien’s read more

A Morning at the Dublin Police Courts, 1871

A 19th century photograph of the exterior of the New Police Courts, as published in Michael O’Connell’s ‘Shadows: An Album of the Irish People 1841-1914,” via

The new Dublin Police Courts behind the Four Courts opened for business in October 1868.  A report in the Freeman’s Journal of 28 August 1868 stated that they had been erected by Mr Michael Meade, from designs furnished by the Board of Works, and had cost a sum of £20,000.   Three years later, the Freeman attended at the Dublin Police Courts again, this time to report on the business which took place there.  This is what it found.  

From the Weekly Freeman’s Journal, read more

Vacation Destinations of the Irish Bar and Bench, 1910

From the Evening Irish Times, 2 August 1910:



Trinity Term came to a close on Saturday.  At the Four Courts the only judge doing any business that day was Mr Justice Barton, who finished up a rather exacting term’s work by delivering two judgments and hearing some short applications.  Other judges were either going, or had already started, on their Long Vacation; and a goodly proportion of the Bar had also taken the first read more

Father of the Munster Bar Falls Prey to Thieves While Holidaying in London, 1865

The start of the legal Long Vacation in August marked – and continues to mark – the annual abandonment of the Four Courts and the flight of its inhabitants further afield.

But, try as holidaying lawyers might to escape from the law, sometimes Justice draws them inexorably back.

Such was the case with the 78- year-old Father of the Munster Bar George Blake Hickson SC, whose 1865 vacation jaunt to London culminated in unanticipated testimony at the famed Bailey and Middlesex Sessions.

From the read more