LIMERICK – The issue of jury-packing in Limerick and other parts of Ireland took centre stage at a meeting of the Divisional Executive of the United Irish League, where jubilant delegates celebrated a significant triumph against this corrupt practice. The victory can be attributed to the unwavering efforts of two prominent newspapers, the “Freeman’s Journal” and the “Evening Telegraph,” which courageously exposed the insidious nature of jury-packing to the public.
The attendees at the meeting hailed these newspapers for their resolute stance in exposing the corrupt practice and commended the editors of the “Freeman’s Journal” and the “Evening Telegraph” for their bold and forthright protest against it. They argued that this exposure had effectively “sounded the death knell” for jury-packing in Ireland.
Jury-packing, a nefarious practice, involves manipulating jury selection to achieve a desired outcome in a specific case. In Limerick, it was apparent that this practice was prevalent, particularly in cases involving individuals facing political charges. Consequently, these individuals often found themselves tried by juries composed of their political and religious adversaries rather than a fair representation of their peers.
The speeches delivered during the meeting also celebrated the valiant efforts of those involved in the legal battle against jury packing. Notably, Mr Bodkin delivered a stirring speech during the trial, which was hailed as “worthy of the best traditions of the Irish Bar.” Additionally, attendees expressed their sympathy for Mr M’Hugh, who faced imprisonment for taking a principled stand against jury-packing.
Meanwhile, the Limerick City Branch of the United Irish League convened its own meeting. During this gathering, a resolution was passed to congratulate the “Freeman’s Journal” and the “Evening Telegraph” for their pivotal role in defeating the practice of jury-packing. Furthermore, the branch passed a resolution vehemently protesting against the “infamous system of jury-packing” perpetuated by law officers in Ireland.
This meeting serves as a revelation of the extent to which jury-packing plagued Limerick and other parts of Ireland, as well as the essential role played by media outlets in bringing this corrupt practice to the public’s attention. It underscores the significance of a fearless and independent press in the battle against injustice and the manipulation of the legal system. By uncovering and condemning jury-packing, these newspapers acted as catalysts in the fight against corruption, ultimately contributing to the eradication of this practice in Ireland. Their unwavering commitment highlights the media’s pivotal role in shaping public opinion, safeguarding the rights of citizens, and championing justice for all.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Monday 06 May 1901