The Tragic Tale of Charlotte Lodge

In 1878, Charlotte Lodge, a woman working in what was then Dublin’s most notorious red light district, Bull Lane, just behind the Four Courts, died in the Richmond Hospital following a vicious attack and gang-rape by local pimps.

Charlotte’s attackers were subsequently acquitted of her murder after an extremely favourable summing up by newly appointed Lord read more

The Story of Mary Ha’penny

One evening in August 1900, a Dublin woman leaves her home near the Grand Canal to travel to the Convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor nearby. She brings with her four things: a bill-hook, two knives and a sword. The woman – Mary Halpin from Kilmainham, better known as ‘Mary Ha’penny’ – ends up in the Dublin Police Court.

Just one incident in the life of one of Dublin’s most fascinating forgotten residents, Mary Ha’penny, detailed in the 4-5 minute read more

Two Tragic Barrister Trip and Falls at Wilton Place, 1882-1911


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The Grand Canal, Dublin, at Wilton Place, between Baggot Street and Leeson Street Bridge, by Edward Tomkins, via Whytes.ie

From the Clonmel Chronicle, 20 December 1882:

A DUBLIN BARRISTER FOUND DROWNED

The body of the late Mr. Robert Donnell BL was discovered in the Grand Canal, in the immediate vicinity of Leeson-Street Bridge, yesterday morning. It is believed that the unfortunate gentleman accidentally fell into the water and drowned. The previous afternoon he left his residence, at Stephen’s read more

A Bull Lane Girl’s Day Out, 1876

From the Freeman’s Journal, 14 July 1876:

“Three young men, one named William Donahoe, who stood in the Dock, and two others, Thomas Kinsella, and William Hurley, were indicted for an assault on three constables. Constable William Hatton, 59A, stated that on Sunday night, the 28th of May, between 9 and 10 o’clock, a band playing, followed by three or four hundred persons, passed through Kevin-Street towards Mark’s-Alley; the traverser Kinsella was the conductor of the band…

Witness read more

The ‘Hard-Swearers’ of Henrietta Street, 1844 

From Saunders’s News-Letter, 1 November 1844:

“HARD SWEARING

A young lad, named Michael Geraghty, was charged by Sergeant Fry, 1D, with stealing a gown, the property of Mrs Hawkins, of Henrietta Street.

The Complainant stated that he saw the prisoner upon the previous day running down Kings Inns-street with a great crowd following him, when he stopped him, and asked him where he was going.  He replied that he was running away from his father, who beat him; however, not considering read more

The Dangers of Wedding an Improvident Bride, 1832-1849

The French towns of Boulogne or Calais were the places of exile of choice for financially improvident Irish barristers. The subject of this post chose Calais (above, via Northwind Prints).

From Saunders’s News-Letter, 19 January 1837:

The Dowager Lady Ventry died at her lodgings last evening. The demise of this unfortunate lady will, we hope, enable a respectable citizen and a barrister of great standing and practice, to resume his station in society, and entitle him again to take his place in his profession – Mr Fitzgibbon Henchy. This gentleman’s marriage with Lady Ventry, which made him liable for engagements of hers to an enormous amount, and of read more

Gurgles from the Grave as Judicial Rivalry Continues into the Afterlife, 1882-1979

Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin c. 1917, via Ebay.

From the Evening Press, 19 January 1979:

If you happen to be in Mount Jerome Cemetery and have the right kind of imaginative hearing, you can listen to those odd chortling and shushing sounds coming from a certain over-ground vault on the right hand side of the mortuary chapel. The chortling comes from the late James Whiteside, one time Lord read more

The Arran Quay Ghost, 1837

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

“DUBLIN POLICE

HENRY STREET.- EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF A GHOST

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