Female advocacy did not begin in 1919. Throughout the previous century, there run accounts of skirted lay litigants occasionally creating consternation in the manly precincts of the Four Courts.
As this story from Saunders’ Newsletter of 6 December 1836 shows, they could prove courageous opponents, capable of turning any point – including the approaching season of goodwill – to their advantage!
“Mrs Reynolds, a loquacious good humoured woman, addressed the Court…
Another ‘lady’ advocate story from the Evening Freeman, 12 January 1853:
“The Hon. Justice Crampton entered court shortly after twelve o’clock, and took his seat on the bench, costumed in his full dress peruke and state robes…. Mrs Winter, who had been waiting the sitting of the full court… said that she appeared to sustain a motion for an attachment against the defendant, an attorney… The Lord Chief Justice observed that he did not see why Mrs Winter
From the Wexford People, 17 June 1857:
“The Master of the Rolls having taken his seat on the bench on Tuesday last, proceeded with the hearing of motions of course. Before they had concluded, Mr Richard Major Hassard, the well-known litigant, who has been for some years past in the frequent habit of making viva voce appeals in person to the equity judges, made his appearance at the side bar, and addressed his Honor, complaining of an order lately made by him in one of the suits in which