The Arran Quay Ghost, 1837

From the Tuam Herald, 9 December 1837, and the Dublin Morning Register, 8 December 1837:



An elderly little man, apparently in his perfect senses, came before the bench and stated that the ghost of his former master appeared to him nine times altogether.  The first appearance was in June, when he came to him at nine or ten o’clock in the evening.  He was greatly frightened, and was sick for three weeks after the ghost appeared read more

Wife Sued for Libel by Estranged Husband After Circulating Hand-Bills Seeking Name of her Predecessor, 1862

Portrait silhouettes by Monsieur Edgar Adolphe, via Alamy.

From the Dublin Daily Express, 6 October 1862:

“A STRANGE CASE.- Madame Margaret Phibbs, otherwise Adolphe, appeared to answer the complaint of Monsieur Edgar Adolphe, a photographic artist, 75 Grafton-street, to show cause why informations should not be taken against her for having published, at Mrs Dempsey’s, Grafton-street, on Wednesday, the 1st of October, and various other occasions a certain wilful and malicious read more

Witchcraft in Waterford, 1886

From the Weekly Irish Times, 6 March 1886:

“At the Waterford Police Court on Monday, before J Slattery, Esq., a woman named Mary Murphy was charged by Constable Williams with having by false pretence obtained from a number of persons in the city various sums of money.

Constable Williams deposed that for some time past the prisoner, who gave the name of Mary Murphy, had followed the occupation of fortune-teller in the city. She passed as a deaf mute, and represented herself as being able read more

The Great Dublin Lodging House Theft, 1847

From the Freeman’s Journal, 29 May 1847:


The following very curious case came to light yesterday and perhaps in the annals of clever rogues, the hero of the present story has been the most successful during his career, which is estimated at about 12 calendar months from the date hereof, and what makes the case more remarkable is, the fact that these very ‘knowing gentry,’ the ‘detective police,’ have been 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

Sandymount Lady Sues English Lieutenant for Breach of Promise, 1920

Image via Getty Images

From the Dublin Evening Telegraph, 31 March 1920:


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

Snowballing in Peace and War, 1867-1945

Snowball Fight, by Edouard Giradet, via ArtVee

From the Kilrush Herald and Kilkee Gazette, 11 January 1918:

“Round The Town

By the Man in the Street

There was a fine snowstorm on Monday and Tuesday which covered the ground several inches.  In town it was made the most of by the rising generation of both sexes – yes, and their far elder in years too.  There was a fierce war of snowballing in all the streets.  There was no discrimination for anybody passing through, gentle or simple, lay or clerical.  Solicitors and read more

More on the Milltown Outrage, 1861

I previously posted a short video about the Milltown Outrage, which occurred in Dublin in September 1861. It involved an attack on a 19-year-old governess by the cab driver engaged to bring her home from Sackville (now O’Connell) Street to Rathgar.

At the end of the video it was disclosed that an arrest had subsequently been made. The name of the man arrested was John Curran. Unusually for the perpetrator in a 19th century Dublin criminal read more

The Milltown Outrage, 1861

A three minute video, the first of a two-parter about a long forgotten but once widely publicised crime of 1861 involving a Dublin cab driver, a 19-year old governess and an allegation of assault with intent to violate in the vicinity of what is now Alexandra College, Milltown.

There was a subsequent trial in the Commission Court, Green Street, involving multiple twists and turns and interesting issues regarding identification evidence. I hope to cover the trial and its aftermath in more detail read more

Not Putting a Ring on it, 1937

From the Irish Examiner, 26 November 1937:




At Wexford Circuit Court, before Judge Comyn KC, William McC, Wexford, appealed against the decision of the District Court Justice at Wexford, sentencing him to a month’s imprisonment on a charge of larceny by finding of a gold ring the property of Mrs K Delaney, Gardiner’s Row, Dublin.

Mrs Delaney swore that on August 22nd, 1937, she was playing golf at the read more