Eight Days in a Lifeboat for Author of Indispensable Irish Criminal Law Text Torpedoed off Africa, 1941

Image via the Times

From the Irish Examiner, 3 November 1941:

After eight days in a lifeboat, following the torpedoing off the West African coast of a Dutch ship in which he was travelling, Mr Robert Lindsay Sandes, a Dublin barrister who has been practising in South Africa for a number of years, was picked up and taken to Konakri, capital of French Guinea. He has now been handed over to officials of British Gambia, says the Associated Press. Mr Sandes, who was formerly well-know in Dublin legal read more

Kidnapped Fermoy Solicitor Negotiates his own Ransom, Subsequently Sues for its Recovery, 1922-26

‘Cottage and Stream Before Mountains,’ by William Percy French, via Whytes.ie

From the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, 27 March 1926:

JUDGE CONGRATULATES PRIEST.

SAVED SOLICITOR’S LIFE.

CORK ‘EXECUTION’ AVERTED.

The dramatic story of the experiences of Mr Anthony Carroll at the hands of kidnappers in the mountains near Mallow in 1922 was continued in the High Court, Dublin, on Friday, before Mr Justice Hanna and a county special jury.

Mr Carroll, who has his home in Fermoy, has for many years been one of the most prominent solicitors in the South of Ireland, and amongst read more

The Judge’s Son Who Shelled the Four Courts, 1922

28-30 June 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Four Courts, the central event of the Irish Civil War, which resulted in severe damage to the original Four Courts building. The image above (via Dublin City Digital Archive) shows the extent of this destruction, which precluded any resumption of legal business on the site until the 1930s.

The extent of involvement of British forces in the Battle of the Four Courts has often been speculated on. The following unattributed newspaper read more

A Wizard in Court, 1856-1870

From the Freeman’s Journal, 15 September 1856:

The Wizard Anderson’s Banners

A motley group of men and women were brought before the magistrate in custody charged with carrying banners calculated to attract a crowd in the streets, and thereby obstruct the public thoroughfare. The flags, about a dozen and a half in number, were of an exceedingly handsome description, made of party coloured silk suspended from gilt poles, and bearing on them in gilt letters various statements and announcements read more

Revolving Doors Require No Hands, 1954

It’s often said that the Four Courts is not a place for children, but sometimes their presence there is necessary, as in the case of 11-year-old Joseph Moloney who turned up in the Four Courts in May 1924 to give evidence in his claim against Mayo County Council. Moloney had found an unlocked box of gelignite belonging to the Council’s building contractor in a field near Barrett’s Forge, Irishtown, Foxford in March 1953. He then lit the tail of one piece of gelignite, held read more

The Time They Tried to Move the Four Courts to London, 1850

From the Freeman’s Journal, 17 July 1850

“HINTS FOR THE IRISH BENCH AND BAR

The Irish bench and bar are now upon their trial in a way more dangerous to them and to the national interests than at any previous time since the Union.  Not a post leaves Ireland without communications from some of the correspondents of the London press, laying bare every accessible point of their position.  If business be brisk it is pointed out with grudging envy, if it is slack a shout of exultation read more

Note of Thanks Left Behind as Sweet-Toothed Rebels Vacate Requisitioned Solicitor’s Office, 1916

Sweet-toothed 1916 rebel leader Constance Markievicz (left). Move the slider left to see the former 130 St Stephen’s Green West (the building with an ad for baby carriages on the side). Image via Cinematreasures.org

From the Belfast News-Letter, 8th May 1916:

REBELS AT ST STEPHEN’S GREEN

MESSAGE OF THANKS LEFT

The offices of Messrs. Keating & Keating, solicitors, 130 St Stephen’s Green, suffered rather severely at the hands of the rebels, who burrowed through the wall from the Turkish Baths, and also effected an entrance through the wall from the Grafton Street end. Mr Edward Keating gave an interesting account of the extraordinary condition in which he found the offices on last Monday read more

Portico Problems, 1786-1925

A side-on comparison of the porticos of Gandon’s Four Courts (above, via Google Streetview) and the former Irish Houses of Parliament (below, image by Patrick Byrne, via National Gallery of Ireland). The portico of the Four Courts was originally intended, like that of the Parliament Building, to project over the entirety of the pavement in front. For reasons set out below, this never happened.

From the Evening Herald, 5 March 1925:

“A Chara – may one hope, from two lines in your most interesting article on the Four Courts, that Gandon’s original plan for the portico may at long last be executed and the renewed pile be adorned by the grand and noble entrance he designed.

‘The question of the Central Hall and its surroundings is under consideration.’

Your article appropriately appeared on the 3rd of March – the very date on which the foundation stone of the read more

Sandymount Lady Sues English Lieutenant for Breach of Promise, 1920

Image via Getty Images

From the Dublin Evening Telegraph, 31 March 1920:

“A WAR-TIME COURTSHIP”

Today in the King’s Bench Division, before Mr Justice Dodd, in the action of Sarah Reynolds, of 41 Londonbridge Road, Sandymount, Dublin, v Wm B Huskisson, Mr CS Campbell (instructed by Mr DA Quaid) applied for an order giving leave to issue and serve a writ out of the jurisdiction. The cause of action was breach of promise of marriage.

Counsel moved on the affidavit of the plaintiff, who stated that the read more

A Robbery at the White Cross Inn, 1814

The New White Cross Inn, directly behind the Rolls Court and Record Court of the original Four Courts; now part of the extended Four Courts site.

From Saunders’s News-Letter, 11 October 1814:

“A few days since a Welshman of the name of Owen Thomas, came to lodge at the White Cross Inn, Pill Lane, where a Mr Donald McKay, from Aughnacloy, likewise took up his abode. They had been but a few days residents of this Inn, when the North Countryman found his cash diminished upwards of ten pounds.

On investigation, some circumstances were disclosed which led to a suspicion that Owen Thomas knew something of the matter; he was accordingly read more