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Local Studies Department

The Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903 - Leinster Leader August 1903

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Leinster Leader, Saturday 15 August 1903 - Page 8
THE MOTOR RACE.
A LEGACY OF LITIGATION.
ROAD CONTRACTOR AND BOUROUGH SURVEYOR.

At Naas Petty Sessions on Monday, before Lieut-Colonel T. J. de Burgh, D.L. (Chairman); Lieut-Colonel Wogan-Brown, and Major Hutchinson, R.M., a very interesting case was heard at the suit of James Slattery, road contractor, against John J. Inglis, Borough Surveyor.

The summons was for the recovery of £2 10s for work and labour done within the past twelve months, and the work consisted in conveying the machine which weighed the motor racing cars in Naas on 2nd July.

Mr. W. A. Lanphier, solicitor, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. P. J. McCann for defendant.
Plaintiff deposed that on the 30th June, he had a conversation with the defendant, who asked him would he bring the weigh-bridge used for weighing the motor cars from Naas to Ballyshannon. He agreed to do so for £2, and to bring it back to the Town Hall. He carted the machines as directed on the 1st July to Ballyshannon. On the next day, 2nd July, he went to bring them back, but could not get pass Kilcullen, because the police had a gate across the road. On the 3rd of July he returned to Ballyshannon and brought home the weighing machine to Naas. At the Town Hall Mr. Inglis asked him to bring the machines to the Railway Station and witness said he would not go unless he got ten shillings for the journey to Kilcullen. Mr. Inglis was furnished by him with a bill of £2 10s.

Further examined by Mr. Lanpher: I met Mr. Inglis at the Town Hall when I came back from Ballyshannon. Did he ask you to leave it (the weighing machine) at the railway station? Yes, I said I would not then. I looked into it again and I thought it would be too “sevaire,” seeing that the stuff was on the car to go to the station. He (Mr. Inglis) then sent down two of the ratepayers’ men to unload the stuff. Cross-examined: What did Mr. Inglis tell you? That he was not paid himself. Did you ever hear any mention of a man named Orde? Yes, but I would not go on Mr. Orde’s words, because I did not know him. Did Mr. Inglis tell you that he had [sic] letter from Mr. Orde, the Secretary of the Automobile Club? Not a word about it. Did he tell you that he ordered this car for Mr. Orde? He did not. Did you think Mr. Inglis was getting this job done for himself? I don’t know. I know too much of his trickery. Mr. Lanphier called his client to order for this expression. Mr. McCann: Do you think that Mr. Inglis is trying to do you out of this money? Witness: Yes, it is not the first money he tricked me out of. Mr. McCann: Yes, he would not certify for work badly done. Mr. Lanphier again reproved his client. Major Hutchinson said it did not improve [sic] plaintiff’s case to make such observations.

Mr. J. J. Inglis was then examined. In reply to Mr. McCann, he said he was acting for the Automobile Club on the day the machines were weighed in Naas. The members of the Club asked him to assist them.
Mr. M’Cann:[sic] Did you receive that letter from Mr. Orde? (Handing witness a type-written headed page). Mr. Lanphier: I object to that. Mr. McCann: Very well, I won’t ask you to read it. Having received a communication from the Automobile Club did you see Mr. Slattery? Witness said he did. He told Mr. Slattery that there were scales coming from England, and that they were wanted in Ballyshannon the evening of the race. He told Slattery to turn up at 2 o’clock, because he thought the weighing of the machines would be over by that time. Slattery did turn up, and I told Mr Orde. Mr Lanphier objected. The defendant was not present. Witness: He was. Proceeding – he (witness) told Mr. Orde that the cartage of the scales would cost £2. Mr. Orde said, “Very well, I will pay that.” Mr. McCann: You did not receive any remuneration for your services? Witness: I received no remuneration whatever. You were merely acting as a friend of Mr. Orde’s? Yes, and I am sure he will pay. I sent the painter’s bill and Slattery’s bill at the same time. I sent the summons also, and it was returned. In further examination, witness said he was sure that Slattery’s bill would be paid. Cross-examined: I made no arrangement about paying at the Town Hall; neither did I send down 2 of the Council’s men to unload the scales at the station. The railway men unloaded them at the station. Witness was not agent for the Automobile Club. Slattery did not say to witness, “I don’t know Mr.Orde.” Did you say, “Will you go and I will pay you?” No I never said any such thing. Did you say to him, “I will pay you when you come back?” – No. Why should I make such an arrangement? Mr. Lanphier: I am not a witness – you are. Witness: Then why do you ask such silly questions? Chairman: There is nothing silly about it, because it has been sworn. Plaintiff recalled, stated in reply to Mr. Lanphier that when Mr. Inglis asked him to take the machine to Ballyshannon he asked him who was going to pay him. Mr. Inglis said, “Mr. Orde”. Witness said, “I won’t go. I don’t know Mr Orde.” Mr. Inglis said, “Will you go for me?” Witness said he would. He charged 10s. for his time going to Kilcullen. Mr. Inglis, recalled, said that the only agreement there was, he was to be paid £2 by Mr. Orde. The solicitors on both sides having addressed the court, the Chairman said there was no dispute of the fact that the defendant employed the plaintiff. – A decree for £2 10s. was granted.