The Limerick Corporation’s prosecution against Dr Long, which was set to be heard before the Limerick magistrates, has been adjourned by mutual consent. This decision follows a private meeting held by the Corporation where a communication addressed to Mr Dundon, the law agent, was discussed. The contents of the communication, believed to be from Rev. Mr O’Donnell, the Roman Catholic Administrator of St. Michael’s parish, expressed concerns that the legal proceedings would only serve as an advertisement for Dr Long and consequently do more harm than good. It was suggested that the case be withdrawn, but the committee ultimately decided to proceed.
However, a recently received letter from Mr Dundon, citing his indisposition as the reason, requested a postponement of the case, to which Dr Long’s solicitor consented. Thus, Mr Campbell, K.C., who has been retained for the defence, was notified of the adjournment. The case continues to generate a great deal of interest, despite the seemingly trivial nature of the public obstruction charge at its core.
The recent events surrounding Dr Long can be traced back to the Mission Buildings on Townsend Street, Limerick, where the first of two special meetings addressing the Limerick troubles took place earlier this month. The Rev. L.B. Johnson presided over the meeting and provided some insight into the boycott attempt against Dr Long.
According to Johnson, when Dr Long tried to hire a jarvey for a ride to the train station, the driver refused his service. Undeterred, Dr Long placed his luggage on the next cab and got in, effectively forcing the jarvey to proceed. However, this tactic was unsuccessful the second time around, as the Jarveys anticipated his actions. The driver at the next cabstand removed his horse from under the car upon which Dr Long had taken his seat.
Limerick’s local by-law stipulates that if a jarvey does not wish to carry a specific passenger, they must take them to the Town Hall and explain their reasons to the City Constable, who oversees the licensed car owners. Dr Long insisted on following this protocol, but the jarvey refused to do so. Dr Long remained in his seat while they waited for the arrival of the car inspector, which the police had sent for.
In light of the public commotion that the jarvey’s choice to unyoke the horse caused, the Limerick Corporation opted not to pursue legal action against the jarvey for violating their by-law. Instead, they chose to prosecute Dr Long for obstruction, with the proposer of the resolution stating their intention to drive Dr Long out of the city.
As the case lingers, the Limerick community remains captivated by the unfolding events surrounding the prosecution against Dr Long. The proceedings’ outcome could have wide-ranging implications for both parties involved, potentially setting a precedent for future conflicts of a similar nature.
Belfast News-Letter – Friday 06 September 1901