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Limerick Lawyers Lament Damages, Seek Government Aid | Limerick Gazette Archives

Limerick Lawyers Lament Damages, Seek Government Aid

At the recent gathering of the Incorporated Law Society held in the esteemed halls of the Solicitors’ Buildings at Four Courts, a discussion of grave concern unfolded. President Mr C. St. George Orpen opened proceedings with a sobering revelation: their premises had been occupied by Sinn Féin members for a period of six days, resulting in considerable damage to furniture, fittings, and windows. Despite the unfortunate state of their property, Mr Orpen expressed relief that the society’s records and more valuable assets remained unscathed. However, the toll on their physical infrastructure was undeniable.

Acknowledging the distress of his fellow solicitors, Mr Orpen conveyed news of forthcoming government assistance for those who had suffered losses. He pledged unwavering support from the legal fraternity to aid their colleagues in need. This sentiment was echoed by Mr P. J. Brady, MP.., who, as a member of the “Dublin Six” in Parliament and a solicitor himself, vowed relentless efforts to address the injustices faced by their profession.

Mr James Brady, also a solicitor, shared his experiences of seeking justice for individuals he believed had been misled into their actions. He recounted his futile attempts to secure permission to represent his clients at Richmond Barracks, where he was met with a resolute refusal of admission. Despite bureaucratic obstacles, Mr Brady remained steadfast in his commitment to advocating for those under his charge.

Similar challenges were voiced by Mr J. G. Lidwell, who lamented the hurdles encountered in his pursuit of legal recourse for affected parties. Mr Hugh Moran of Limerick decried certain military procedures as farcical, particularly in cases where individuals were deported based on events predating the recent upheaval. He questioned the legitimacy of trying such persons under a jurisdiction never intended for their circumstances.

The absence of Master Cuthane, noted for his diligence and professionalism, was felt acutely among the legal fraternity. Mr Orpen drew attention to this vacancy, contrasting it with the expeditious filling of other judicial positions. Concerns were also raised regarding the presence of “illegal practitioners,” with Mr Orpen noting the difficulty in pursuing legal action without sufficient evidence, compounded by reluctance from complainants to come forward.

Amidst these challenges, Mr Orpen proposed a course of action aimed at ameliorating the plight of solicitors and their clients. He pledged to personally engage with Major-General Sandbach to negotiate favourable arrangements for legal representation in upcoming proceedings. This proposal garnered unanimous approval, signalling a united front in the pursuit of justice.

In response to queries regarding the applicability of martial law, Mr Sadden clarified the limitations imposed on legal representation at field general court-martials. Despite the exceptional nature of certain cases, such as that of Mr McNeill, precedence dictated strict adherence to protocol.

As discussions drew to a close, a sense of determination permeated the assembly. Despite the challenges ahead, the resolve of the legal fraternity remained unyielding. With solidarity and perseverance, they vowed to navigate the turbulent waters of legal proceedings, advocating tirelessly for justice in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, the plight of the solicitors at the Incorporated Law Society underscores the broader ramifications of political upheaval on the legal landscape. As they navigate the complexities of martial law and bureaucratic hurdles, their unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of justice serves as a beacon of hope in turbulent times.

Irish Independent – Wednesday 17 May 1916