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Police Court Proceedings: A Case Of Obstruction On The King's Highway | Limerick Gazette Archives

Police Court Proceedings: A Case Of Obstruction On The King’s Highway

In a recent court proceeding, the case of obstruction on the King’s highway, which had been debated for quite some time, was finally brought to a resolution. This case involved an incident in which Dr Long, a well-known and respected physician in the city, was accused of creating a disturbance and obstructing the public’s passage on William and George Streets.

The case began when high constable Mr Forrest, who had been in the service of the city Corporation for over forty years, was summoned by a police officer to address the scene. It was reported that a large crowd of over a thousand people had gathered around the area, creating an even more significant obstruction to the streets.

Upon arriving at the scene, Mr Forrest found Dr Long sitting on the driver’s seat of a car in William Street. The driver of the car had reportedly taken the horse out of the shafts and tilted the car up, leaving Dr Long in a precarious position. This incident had drawn the attention of the crowd, and the public was watching to see what would happen next.

The high constable approached Dr Long and asked him if he knew the cause of this obstruction. Dr Long replied that he did, but was still surprised by the actions of the car driver. Mr Forrest then advised Dr Long to seek legal remedy for his grievance against the driver, as there was a court in the city for such matters.

Furthermore, he added that Dr Long should be more mindful of his conduct, as he was turning out to be “rowdy” and seemed to want a fight. He warned Dr Long that he would file a complaint against him for his disruptive behaviour.

During his cross-examination by Mr Campbell, K.C., Mr Forrest revealed that both William and George streets were blocked due to the crowd that had gathered. The situation had caused annoyance to the residents and passersby who wanted to use the thoroughfare. It was also revealed that the incident lasted for about 10-15 minutes, during which the crowd remained in place.

Throughout the court proceedings, there were attempts to amend the summons by adding the words “obstruction and annoyance of residents and passersby.” Mr Campbell protested this alteration, arguing that Dr Long was not given a full and fair understanding of the charges against him. He maintained that the defendant should only have to face the charges stated in the initial summons.

After a heated debate, the magistrates finally agreed to amend the summons. The case ended in a conviction, with the court ruling that Dr Long indeed caused considerable disturbance and obstruction to the thoroughfare, which inconvenienced the people who were using the streets.

In conclusion, this case serves as a reminder that one must be aware of their actions and the consequences they may cause. Regardless of one’s intentions, actions impacting the rights and comfort of others can lead to undesired outcomes. As members of the public, it is essential to be considerate and respectful in all our actions to ensure the smooth functioning of society.

Belfast News-Letter – Saturday 21 September 1901