Category: Exciting Events

Laughter at Under-the-Table Police Chase in Rolls Court, 1857

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 read more

Irish Barristers and the Dáil Courts, 1920

From The Weekly Freeman’s Journal, 24 July 1920:

“HELPLESS BARRISTERS

LEFT STRANDED IN THE FOUR COURTS

On Thursday last week, the action of D Coffey, Derrymilleen, Co. Cork, farmer, v Denis P O’Regan, Farransbesbary, Enniskeen, Co. Cork, farmer, was listed for hearing in the Chancery division before Mr Justice Powell. The plaintiff sought specific performance of an agreement for sale by the defendant.

When the case was called, Mr DB Sullivan BL said neither of the parties had turned up, read more

Much Guarding, Little Action, Scrambling Breakfasts: the Irish Lawyers’ Corps and the Rebellion of 1798

Shoulder Belt Plate worn by a member of the Irish Lawyers’ Corps, c. 1796

Despite many parades, and much drilling, the question of what that notable barrister militia company, the Lawyers’ Corps, actually did during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 went unanswered for many years. Indeed, it might never have been resolved at all had the Dublin Daily Express not belatedly managed to unearth the diary of an anonymous 24-year-old barrister member of the Corps and publish it in a centenary edition of 27th August 1898. Its contents make interesting reading!

1798: May read more

Singing for its Supper: The Choir of Christ Church Pays Homage to the Court of Exchequer, 1851

From the Belfast News-Letter, 1 December 1851:

“In the Court of Exchequer, on Saturday week, the clergymen and choristers from Christ Church Cathedral appeared and performed their accustomed homage, by singing an anthem and saying prayers. At the entrance of the minister and choristers the barons arose and continued standing during the ceremony.”

The Court of Exchequer was where Court 3 is today, charmingly located over a read more

A Rare Bird at the Four Courts, 1888

From the Irish Times, 24 May 1888:

“CHASE AFTER A WILD BIRD IN THE LIFFEY

Yesterday, for nearly three hours, the inhabitants, and those who could spare the time, were entertained by a most interesting and exciting chase after a large bird of varied plumage, which was observed in the River Liffey opposite the Four Courts.  It transpired that the bird had some days since wandered from its habitation in the Zoological Gardens, Phoenix Park, and a reward was offered for its recovery.  read more

Ormond Quay Prison Break, 1784

From the Hibernian Journal; or, Chronicle of Liberty, 16 July 1784:

“Yesterday in the afternoon, a number of the prisoners, confined in the New Gaol, found means to break into the sewer that communicates from the prison to the Bradogue River, or water course that falls into the Liffey at Ormond Quay; several of them have been re-taken and conducted back to their old lodging, but better secured.  About sixteen it is thought are escaped; a guard is positioned at the mouths of the Bradogue, read more

A Princess Arrested in the Four Courts, 1864

Madame Laetitia Bonaparte Wyse, possibly wearing one of Mr Russell’s confections.

From the Waterford Mail, 17 February 1864:

SITTINGS AT NISI PRIUS

Wyse v Lewis

This was an action brought by Madame Letitia Bonaparte Wyse, widow of the late Thomas Wyse, formerly British ambassador at Greece, against Mr William Lewis, of Messrs Lewis and Howe, solicitors, of Nassau-street, in this city to recover damages for an alleged neglect by the defendant of the plaintiff’s business.  

The plaintiff is the cousin-german of the present Emperor of France, and daughter of Prince read more

No Catholic Testament in the Four Courts, 1919

From the Weekly Freeman’s Journal, 6 December 1919:

“In the King’s Bench Division – Probate, before Mr Justice Kenny, in the matter of the goods of Denis Dwyer, Deceased, the Rev James O’Sullivan, PP, attended, under an order of the Court, in order to give evidence as to his knowledge of the existence of the will of the deceased.

Mr Justice Kenny asked Mr Fitzgerald, cross-examining Father O’Sullivan, whether he wished a shorthand note to be taken of the evidence.

Mr Fitzgerald replied read more

Sligo Jury Turns Water into Whisky, 1860

From the Belfast News-Letter, 17 March 1860:

A DISTRESSED JURY

While the jury empanelled to try the case of Michael Lynot, charged with committing an aggravated assault on Pat Sexton, were locked up considering their verdict, Judge Hayes came into court on Monday night, at ten o’clock, to ascertain whether they had agreed.  The jury having been sent for, the Foreman informed his lordship that there was not the slightest chance of their agreeing, when the judge expressed his regret read more

State Trial Implodes as Attorney General Challenges Opposing Counsel to Duel, 1844

The State Trial of Daniel O’Connell and John Gray, in the Court of Queen’s Bench, Four Courts, February 1844,

From the Sun (London), 1 February 1844:

The Irish State trials were resumed on Tuesday, when Mr Fitzgibbon QC, appearing for Mr Gray, said that the doctrine of conspiracy, as laid down by the Attorney-General, was that it was a combination of two or more persons to do an illegal act, or do a lawful act through unlawful means. He had looked in Coke, and all the old authorities on the subject, without being able to discover any such doctrine.    The people met in large read more