Kidnapped Fermoy Solicitor Negotiates his own Ransom, Subsequently Sues for its Recovery, 1922-26

‘Cottage and Stream Before Mountains,’ by William Percy French, via Whytes.ie

From the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, 27 March 1926:

JUDGE CONGRATULATES PRIEST.

SAVED SOLICITOR’S LIFE.

CORK ‘EXECUTION’ AVERTED.

The dramatic story of the experiences of Mr Anthony Carroll at the hands of kidnappers in the mountains near Mallow in 1922 was continued in the High Court, Dublin, on Friday, before Mr Justice Hanna and a county special jury.

Mr Carroll, who has his home in Fermoy, has for many years been one of the most prominent solicitors in the South of Ireland, and amongst read more

The Judge’s Son Who Shelled the Four Courts, 1922

28-30 June 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Four Courts, the central event of the Irish Civil War, which resulted in severe damage to the original Four Courts building. The image above (via Dublin City Digital Archive) shows the extent of this destruction, which precluded any resumption of legal business on the site until the 1930s.

The extent of involvement of British forces in the Battle of the Four Courts has often been speculated on. The following unattributed newspaper 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

Revolving Doors Require No Hands, 1954

It’s often said that the Four Courts is not a place for children, but sometimes their presence there is necessary, as in the case of 11-year-old Joseph Moloney who turned up in the Four Courts in May 1924 to give evidence in his claim against Mayo County Council. Moloney had found an unlocked box of gelignite belonging to the Council’s building contractor in a field near Barrett’s Forge, Irishtown, Foxford in March 1953. He then lit the tail of one piece of gelignite, held read more

The Time They Tried to Move the Four Courts to London, 1850

From the Freeman’s Journal, 17 July 1850

“HINTS FOR THE IRISH BENCH AND BAR

The Irish bench and bar are now upon their trial in a way more dangerous to them and to the national interests than at any previous time since the Union.  Not a post leaves Ireland without communications from some of the correspondents of the London press, laying bare every accessible point of their position.  If business be brisk it is pointed out with grudging envy, if it is slack a shout of exultation read more

Note of Thanks Left Behind as Sweet-Toothed Rebels Vacate Requisitioned Solicitor’s Office, 1916

Sweet-toothed 1916 rebel leader Constance Markievicz (left). Move the slider left to see the former 130 St Stephen’s Green West (the building with an ad for baby carriages on the side). Image via Cinematreasures.org

From the Belfast News-Letter, 8th May 1916:

REBELS AT ST STEPHEN’S GREEN

MESSAGE OF THANKS LEFT

The offices of Messrs. Keating & Keating, solicitors, 130 St Stephen’s Green, suffered rather severely at the hands of the rebels, who burrowed through the wall from the Turkish Baths, and also effected an entrance through the wall from the Grafton Street end. Mr Edward Keating gave an interesting account of the extraordinary condition in which he found the offices on last Monday read more

Portico Problems, 1786-1925

A side-on comparison of the porticos of Gandon’s Four Courts (above, via Google Streetview) and the former Irish Houses of Parliament (below, image by Patrick Byrne, via National Gallery of Ireland). The portico of the Four Courts was originally intended, like that of the Parliament Building, to project over the entirety of the pavement in front. For reasons set out below, this never happened.

From the Evening Herald, 5 March 1925:

“A Chara – may one hope, from two lines in your most interesting article on the Four Courts, that Gandon’s original plan for the portico may at long last be executed and the renewed pile be adorned by the grand and noble entrance he designed.

‘The question of the Central Hall and its surroundings is under consideration.’

Your article appropriately appeared on the 3rd of March – the very date on which the foundation stone of the read more

The Barrister Who Fell in Love With his Witness, 1908-1915

A photograph of Lord Justice Moriarty published in the Ballymena Telegraph, 8 May 1915, via British Newspaper Archive.

The character of Professor Moriarty in Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ stories may have been inspired by Doyle’s Stonyhurst classmate John Francis Moriarty, who subsequently went on to become an Irish barrister and judge of the Court of Appeal in Ireland.  Not only that, but he also became one of that small but select category of barristers who end up marrying one of their clients.

The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph of 8 May 1915, in an article published at the time of Moriarty’s 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

Howth Tea-Smuggler Escapes as Revenue Routed by Pill Lane ‘Mob,’ 1764

Portrait of a Smuggler, by Henry Pertwee Parker, via Selling Antiques

From the Oxford Journal, 28 July 1764:

IRELAND

Dublin, July 17. Last Friday Night some Revenue Officers made a Seizure at Howth of 160 Casks of Tea; but they were soon after attacked by a Number of Smugglers, when a desperate Engagement ensued, in which one Higley, a Smuggler, was killed; only seven Casks out of the whole Parcel, were carried off by the Officers. A Brother to the Deceased was taken Prisoner by the Officers, and this Day sent to Town, guarded by a Serjeant and four private read more