by ehistoryadmin on April 21, 2017

Leinster Leader 20 January 1906

The Celbridge Prosecution

It is not a very edifying thing to have a lost of a man’s goods sold on the public streets in satisfaction for a fine inflicted by the magistrates for putting his name on his cart in the language of the country the Lord decreed he should be born in. This is what happened to Domhnall Ua Buachalla of Maynooth. After it had happened Domhnall put his name on the cart in English characters, retaining the Irish form. But this did not satisfy Sergeant Finnigan, on whose shoulders the affairs of the empire seem to press heavily. He again took Domhnall to the Celbridge Sessions. Lord Frederick Fitzgerald was one of the magistrates on the bench, and, it is stated, left it when the case was called, as he did not sympathise with the prosecution. The plea of the Sergeant in this case was that the name on the cart was not in legible letters, but on the plate from the cart being produced, found no difficulty reading it. Mr. Gore, who defended, handed the Sergeant a copy of the “Freeman’s Journal,” December 6th, 1905, and asked him to read a certain paragraph, and say if it were more legible than the name on the defendant’s cart. The paragraph was headed – “Action Against A City Firm” (Chancery Division), and ran thus: – “Yesterday before the Master of the Rolls in the Chancery Division in the matter of Wilhelmus Audrianus Van Berkel of 68 Binneweg, Rotterdam, Holland and Naamlooze Vennitschat, Lot Vervaardiging Van Snymachines, Volgens Van Berkel’s Patent in Van Amdere Werringen and Parnall and Sons, Ltd., plaintiffs, versus Booth Brothers, defendants, etc.” The Sergeant very boldly began – “Yesterday before the Master of the Rolls in the Chancery Division in the matter of Wil- Wil-“ where he came to a full stop and threw down the paper, declaring that he didn’t know whether what followed was French or Irish.” The magistrates have stated a case, so that the matter was not ended yet. A Dublin weekly review last week announced that the new Chief Secretary “has given the word that there are to be no more prosecutions on the head to the ‘crime’ of cart-owners putting their names in Irish on their vehicles.” We shall see.

Re-typed by Jennifer O’Connor

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