Our Legal Heritage

1-15 of 74 Articles
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The late Supreme Court judge, Séamus Henchy, was born in County Clare 105 years ago this week to Patrick and Margaret Henchy who ran a shop in Corofin.

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The first women were admitted to the barristers’ representative body 101 years ago today. Both Frances Kyle and Averil Deverell became students at the King’s Inns in 1920 after the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and a resolution of the King’s Inns Benchers enabled women to

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The Constitution of the Irish Free State was adopted by Act of Dáil Éireann 100 years ago yesterday. The 1922 Constitution officially came into effect just over a month later in early December after receiving royal assent. It was Ireland’s first Constitution and contained 83 Arti

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The Supreme Court delivered its judgment in O'Shea v Tilman Anhold & Horse Holiday Farm Ltd on the 23rd of October 24 years ago. The case related to a night-time collision between the plaintiff’s car and a horse owned by the second-named defendant holiday farm. The incident caused signific

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The High Court gave judgment in the momentous case of Foy v An t-Ard Chláraitheoir 15 years ago today. Dr Lydia Foy is a trans woman who had sex reassignment surgery in 1992. She was the first person in Ireland to issue legal proceedings seeking legal recognition and a new birth certificate r

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Pope Gregory IX, the 178th pope of the Catholic Church from 1227 to 1241, is often remembered for issuing a Papal Bull declaring that cats bore Satan’s spirit, which subsequently led to huge numbers of cats being killed throughout Europe. The mass extermination of the continent’s felines

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) gave judgment in the significant case of Airey v Ireland 43 years ago this Sunday. The case was taken by the late Josie Airey who sought a High Court separation order from her abusive and alcoholic husband of around 20 years. However, Mrs Airey could not af

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St Patrick’s Day has long been a date of special significance in the Irish diaspora calendar, with Irish communities across the world marking the occasion with parades and céilís. This year in particular will see millions of people celebrating the day together for the first time

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If nothing else is proved, Giuffre v Prince Andrew, Duke of York will at least have shown the public’s fascination with the private lives of royalty, writes Andrew Stevenson. This is not new. It is 200 years since the death of Queen Caroline. Born in the German principality of Brunswick, Carol

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Graham Ogilvy enjoys a new presentation of the famous denouement of demagogue Joe McCarthy at the hands of Boston lawyer Joseph N Welch. It is an epic moment in American legal history that played out live on US television – and now new light is shed on the withering exchanges between veteran B

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The latest series of the gritty and stylish TV drama Babylon Berlin, set in Weimar Germany, introduces Hans Litten as a civil rights lawyer battling to save the life of a woman sentenced to death after being tricked by the Nazis into assassinating Germany's Jewish chief prosecutor. Connor Beaton sha

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This week marks the 30th anniversary of the world’s largest unsolved art theft, in which 13 pieces worth around $500 million, including paintings by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

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Curran spent many years defending United Irishmen who faced capital charges, the most famous of which were William Orr, Napper Tandy, and Wolfe Tone. His defence of Oliver Bond on the 23rd of July 1798 “was considered by the bar as the most powerful of his efforts upon the state trials of this

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Perhaps the most famous trials of John Philpot Curran’s career were those in which he appeared as defence counsel for leading figures of the Society of United Irishmen.  While the Rebellion of 1798 was still raging, on 12 July 1798, Curran represented a fellow member of the Irish bar, Hen

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