Irish Legal Heritage



Irish Legal Heritage: A Glasgow kiss

In 1937, a story emerged in the newspapers about a girl from Glasgow called Julia Clarke who had been sentenced, in absentia, to one month's imprisonment for “kissing a boyfriend in public”.

Published 8 November 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: The Witch of Youghal

On 24 March 1661, Florence Newton was committed to prison in Youghal, Co Cork, having been accused of bewitching a young servant girl named Mary Langdon.

Published 1 November 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: The 'Long' history of quackery, Pt. II

The first person to die in John St. John Long’s care was Ms Catherine Cashin.

Published 25 October 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: The 'Long' history of quackery

Social media is replete with various examples of quackery; from detox teas and bee-sting facials, to more sinister bleach therapies and cancer cures. Far from being a novel issue, quackery in Ireland has a long history, and many of us who have grown up in rural areas have heard stories of people who you’d visit for ‘the cure’.

Published 11 October 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: An engagement originating in avarice

In March 1817, Peter Blake brought Mary Wilkins to Court seeking compensation for breaking a promise of marriage.

Published 4 October 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: Jerimiah O’Donovan Rossa (Part II)

Upon merging with the Irish Republican Brotherhood, members of the Phoenix Society were trained in the use of rifles and military tactics by Irish-American officers of the Fenian Brotherhood (Shane Kenna, Jerimiah O’Donovan Rossa: Unrepentant Fenian (Merrion Press, 2015)).

Published 27 September 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: Jerimiah O’Donovan Rossa (Part I)

On 10 September 1831, Jerimiah O’Donovan Rossa was born in Reenascreena – a townland nestled between the villages of Leap and Rosscarbery in West Cork.

Published 20 September 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: The Innocent Man, Henry 'Harry' Gleeson

Over 100 years after the tragedies that befell Rathcannon, another Holycross parishioner was the victim of one of Ireland’s most infamous miscarriages of justice.

Published 16 August 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: Murder and Martyrdom in Rathcannon

On 30 June 1827, the nephew of a landlord was shot dead in Rathcannon, County Tipperary.

Published 2 August 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: Terence MacSwiney

On 25 October 1920, Terence MacSwiney died in London’s Brixton Prison after 74 days on hunger strike.

Published 26 July 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: Richard Pigott and the Forgeries Commission

Richard Pigott was a journalist who worked with several nationalist newspapers across the island of Ireland, including the Ulsterman and the Nation. For most of his life, Pigott appeared to support the Fenian movement and had been imprisoned for seditious libels on the government during his career.

Published 19 July 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: Irish Women Patrols

The Garda Síochána Act 1958 provided for the admission of women to membership of An Garda Síochána, and this month marks the 60th anniversary of women joining An Garda Síochána. However, the 12 Ban Ghardaí appointed on 10 July 1959 were not the first female police officers in Ireland.

Published 12 July 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: A bigamist’s mixed-marriage declared null and void

On 15 August 1857, Maria Theresa Longworth and Major William Charles Yelverton got married in a Catholic Church near Rostrevor. They had previously married in Edinburgh on or about 13 April 1857 according to Scottish law; however, Theresa refused to cohabit with Major Yelverton until they were married according to her own Catholic religion.

Published 14 June 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: The couple facing execution

On 9 June 1976, Marie and Noel Murray were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.

Published 7 June 2019

Irish Legal Heritage: The swindling judge removed from office

In 1830, Sir Jonah Barrington became the only High Court judge to be dismissed from office by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Published 31 May 2019