Midlands Circuit Judge Throws Himself Between Combatants to End Free Fight in Boyle Court, 1907

The old Courthouse, Boyle, Co Roscommon, via Buildings of Ireland

From the Evening Herald, 15 October 1907:

“While his Honor County Court Judge Wakely was revising the voters’ list in Boyle Courthouse yesterday a wild scene of tumult took place. George W Tully was after being examined in support of his claim for a vote, and on leaving the witness table he deliberately struck Arthur O’Connor two blows on the face with his clenched fist. Mr O’Connor retaliated, and a wild scene of riot ensued. The audience was composed of the supporters read more

Lord Chancellor’s Emissary Saves Lady from Singed Cat, Incurs Husband’s Wrath, 1838


From the Waterford Mail, 5 March 1838:

“There is a story running the rounds of the hundred and one coteries that assemble in the Four Courts, that is creating much amusement. You shall have it, and you may take it, as far as its authenticity is concerned, quantum valeat.

It appears that Sir Anthony Harte, the Lord read more

Future Judge Brings Legal Proceedings to Recover Dognapped Pet, 1830

The Ha’penny Bridge and Wellington Quay, Dublin, by Samuel Brocas, 1818, with the dome of the Four Courts in the distance. Click here to zoom in! Mr Harvey’s warehouse was located among the line of buildings on the left of this image, close to where the Clarence Hotel is today.

From the Pilot, Wednesday 19 October 1831:

“FIDELITY OF A DOG – On Thursday, a servant man of Mr Ball, the barrister, applied before the magistrates of the Head Office, and stated that he had seen a very large sized Newfoundland dog that day, which his master had lost about three months before at Messrs. Harvey’s warehouse, on Wellington Quay. He said that he had made application to some persons in the establishment to have the dog restored to his master, but was told that read more

‘Our Judges:’ Critiquing 24 Sitting Irish Judges, 1889-90

Though the grounds and means of complaint may have changed over time, there is nothing new about criticism of Irish judges.

As far back as 1826, one Daniel O’Connell petitioned for the removal of Lord Norbury, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, on the ground that he was 85, afflicted with deafness, and lethargic stupor which rendered him entirely unfit for discharging the duties of his office, as he frequently fell asleep during the most important trials.

Throughout the 19th century, almost read more

Judge Gets the Boot on his First Day in Court, 1890

From the New Ross Standard, 18 January 1890:

Judge Hickson’s first experience of judicial life has been rather perilous, but he exhibited great nerve and self-possession. The practice of throwing slippers after a married couple on their wedding day ‘for luck’ is on the decline, as, however friendly the motive, the act was attended with some risk. It was not for luck, however, that a man named Finerty, from the dock at Tullamore on Thursday, inaugurated the judicial read more

Future Supreme Court Judge Unsuccessfully Sued for Negligent Driving, 1924

From the Dublin Evening Telegraph, 4th and 5th March, 1924:

Miss May McConnon, a typist, residing at the Gaelic Hotel, Blackrock, Dundalk, claimed £3000 damages against Mr Cecil Lavery, barrister-at-law, for personal injuries caused, as alleged, by the negligence of the defendant in the management of a motor car near Dundalk.

The Plaintiff gave evidence, in which she stated that she was getting off her bicycle near Hearty’s cottages on the main road between Dublin and Dundalk, in order to read more

Legal Monkeys Hire Organ-Grinders to Disrupt Judge’s Party, 1846-66

Not the actual party.

From the Derry Journal, 28 June 1909:

“The recent successful campaign against the street organ-grinders in securing that persons who disliked it should not be annoyed by street music recalls a practical joke played on a learned Judge through the medium of organ-grinders in Dublin.  Mr T.B.C. Smith, who was Irish Master of the Rolls from 1846 until 1866, a gentleman of atrabilious temperament, to whom O’Connell affixed the soubriquets of ‘Vinegar Smith’ and ‘Alphabet Smith,’ read more

To Catch a Thief, 1892

From the Belfast News-Letter, 3 November 1892:

JUDGE CAPTURES THIEF

Judge Boyd distinguished himself by catching a young thief in flagrante delicto. Passing through Kildare Street, his attention was attracted to some newsboys besetting a lady. One boy was on her right, and the other on her left hand. As the boy on her left pressed her to buy a paper which he held up before her eyes, the boy on her right stole a paper parcel out of her pocket. The learned judge caught the young thief read more

Judicial Coach Hijacked by Helpful Ennis Local, 1902

From the Westminster Gazette, 10 April 1902:

The Ennis representative of the Freeman’s Journal tells a delightful story of young Ireland.  At Ennis the Assizes were held by Lord Chief Justice O’Brien and Mr Justice Johnson.  At the Courthouse door there drew up in the usual course the High Sheriff’s carriage to bring home the judges, with the usual accompaniment of footmen, mounted escort, trumpeter and so on, ‘all very grand,’ as the story book says.

It unfortunately read more

Judge Calls Women’s Fashion the Ruin of the Country, 1895

From the Sheffield Daily Telegraph , 5 January 1894:

“The Kilrush correspondent of the ‘Freeman’s Journal’ says:

At the Quarter Sessions here yesterday a milliner brought an action against a pension for goods supplied to his daughter, who is now in America.  His Honour Judge Kelly said women were the ruin of the country.  Nothing pleased women nowadays but those extraordinary fashions comprising parasols, petticoats, feathers and all this ludicrous headgear which read more