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Limerick Landowner Prevails in Cattle Dealers' Court Clash |

Limerick Landowner Prevails in Cattle Dealers’ Court Clash

In a recent legal showdown at Nisi Prius, before Mr Justice Kenny and a jury, a case involving allegations of assault and battery unfolded between two prominent figures in the agricultural community. Owen Farrell, a substantial landowner and cattle dealer hailing from Trim, Meath, took on John Humphreys, a farmer residing in Bohernagare, Co. Limerick.

The crux of the matter revolved around an incident that took place at the Limerick fair on April 6th of the previous year. Farrell claimed that Humphreys had assaulted him, wielding a stick to strike him on the head, neck, and face. The plaintiff contended that he was not only physically beaten but also dragged along the ground, resulting in torn clothing.

In response, Humphreys denied the allegations, arguing that any physical contact was merely an attempt to prevent Farrell from marking cattle before the completion of the bargain. This defence framed the defendant’s actions as a necessary intervention rather than an unwarranted assault.

To add a layer of resolution, Humphreys took the proactive step of lodging £2 in court, asserting that this amount was sufficient to settle any legitimate claims made by Farrell. This strategic move showcased a willingness to address the financial aspect of the dispute while maintaining the position that the alleged assault was a justifiable act of prevention.

After a thorough examination of the evidence and arguments presented by both sides, the jury ultimately rendered a verdict. They awarded a symbolic 6s. in damages to Farrell, acknowledging that some wrongdoing had occurred. However, the fact that Humphreys had already deposited £2 in court played a pivotal role in the outcome. Consequently, a judgment was entered in favour of the defendant, solidifying his stance that the sum lodged was adequate to satisfy any valid claims by the plaintiff.

Legal representation for Farrell included the experienced duo of Messrs. Wm. G. Gibson, K.C., and E. A. Swayne, with Dr Ryan providing instructive guidance. On the opposing side, Mr Sergeant Sullivan and Mr Patrick Kelly, instructed by Messrs. Ryan and McCoy, skilfully presented Humphreys’ defence.

The courtroom drama, highlighting the clash between a Meath landowner and a Limerick farmer, sheds light on the intricacies of legal battles within the agricultural sector. While Farrell secured a nominal victory in damages, the decision underscored the importance of the pre-deposited £2 in shaping the final judgment. As the legal dust settles, the case stands as a testament to the complexities inherent in resolving disputes arising from the bustling cattle trade in Ireland.

Dublin Daily Express – Wednesday 18 December 1912

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