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Street Betting Fine Reduced on Appeal | Limerick Gazette Archives

Street Betting Fine Reduced on Appeal

Limerick Quarter Sessions – Edward Daly appealed against a fine of £5 imposed by the Limerick magistrates for contravening the “Betting Bye-law” established by the Limerick Borough Council. Representing the appellant, Mr H. Cullinan, B.L., argued that the Corporation had no authority to pass such a bye-law, as their powers only extended to addressing nuisances, and betting did not fall under that category. He further contended that the Corporation should be the complainants, not the police.

In response, Mr W. Leahy, representing the Borough Council, highlighted that similar bye-laws were enforced in Londonderry and other places. However, no specific case law existed on the matter. Head Constable Moore testified that street betting was a nuisance and could lead young individuals into criminal activity.

In delivering his ruling, His Honor stated that the Corporation had the power to pass such bye-laws, as evidenced by their adoption in other municipalities. He acknowledged that gambling and wagering were prevalent societal vices but emphasized that he could only decide the case based on secular grounds. While the bye-law had caught smaller operators, the bigger bookmakers continued their activities indoors. His Honor opined that the Corporation had the authority to impose the bye-law and reduce the penalty to 6d, though the full penalty would be imposed in the future. The conviction was upheld but with a reduced fine.

In a separate appeal case involving Christopher Cunneen, who was also fined £5, His Honor reversed the decision, as there was no evidence of betting presented.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 04 October 1904