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German Ship Seized at Limerick |

German Ship Seized at Limerick

In a legal proceeding at the Admiralty Court today, before Mr Justice Boyd, a case involving the German ship Terpsichore, seized at Limerick during the outbreak of the war, was addressed. Mr Ronan, K.C., representing the King’s Advocate General, alongside Mr James Rearden, applied for the release of the vessel. They requested the withdrawal of all court representatives from the ship, the discharge of the arrest warrant, and a stay on further proceedings, except those necessary to determine any outstanding dues.

The Terpsichore had unloaded a cargo of wheat from Portland, Oregon, and was awaiting orders at Foynes when it was detained by the Acting Collector of Customs at Limerick on August 5th. Two armed policemen were stationed onboard, and the ship’s documents were confiscated. A writ of summons was subsequently issued against the ship’s owners on behalf of Edmund Ludlow, a shipping agent from Limerick, regarding an alleged debt of £492 15s 7d.

On August 6th, two ship keepers were appointed to oversee the vessel, which remained under the control of both the Acting Collector of Customs at Limerick and the ship keepers of the Dublin Admiralty Marshal. The captain and crew were removed by the police. On August 31st, a prize suit was initiated in England, asserting that the ship and cargo were the property of enemies of the Crown and thus subject to confiscation.

The court ordered the vessel to remain detained by the Marshal until further notice. Additionally, upon the application of counsel for Mr Ludlow, who claimed for necessaries, the President directed the vessel to remain in an Irish port. It was argued that the Crown’s right to seize the ship superseded that of a necessaries man, and any sale or payment of debts would potentially prejudice the Crown’s right to detain or confiscate the ship.

Counsel clarified that the order of the Prize Court meant that if the ship were returned to its German owner after the war, the plaintiff could re-arrest it and continue legal proceedings. Therefore, there was no reason to delay determining the amount of the plaintiff’s debt. Efforts were being made to safeguard the rights of all parties involved.

A similar case in the English court recently led to the establishment of a Prize Claim Committee to consider claims by third parties affected by the Prize Court’s rulings. This step aimed to ensure fairness, particularly for British, Allied, or neutral parties with legitimate claims. In this instance, it was suggested that the plaintiff could present their case before this committee to substantiate their claim.

Sergeant Sullivan, representing the plaintiff, indicated that they would not oppose the motion, expressing confidence in the fairness of the committee. Mr Justice Boyd granted the application, allowing for further legal proceedings in the matter.

Evening Herald (Dublin) – Monday 21 December 1914

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