ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN IRELAND JUNE/JULY 1920 by Donal Kennedy


On July 13 1920 THE IRISH BULLETIN listed 54 cases in 21 counties were dealt with by Republican Police and Republican Courts set up by the elected Government Dail Eireann . Some were criminal matters and others were civil actions where the Courts’ decisions were accepted by the contending parties

On July 14 1920 THE IRISH BULLETIN reported that-

  • On June 16 in Co Mayo that at Swinford Quarter Sessions in only one case out of twelve did the litigants put in an appearance. The others had taken their cases to the Republican Courts. The  (British-appointed ) Judge Doyle said he did not understand it 
  • On June 16 in Millstreet, Co.Cork the British Petty Sessions had its first case for 3 months
  • On June 17  at the Petty sessions in Moate, Co Westmeath not a single case was listed and that this was the third time in succession that that Petty Sessions had no business whatever before it.

A further 22 occasions were listed across many counties during the previous month where no cases were brought before the British -appointed Courts. The Republican Courts were flourishing.

At the opening of the King’s County (now known as Offaly) , on July 2nd,  only four (minor ) cases were heard. The Lord Chief Justice made a speech about lawlessness in Ireland

On July 7th at  Co Sligo Assizes the same Judge described the 3 cases before it as “trifling”  and again gave a speech of the lawlessness in ireland.

The British Judges were all dressed up with nowhere to go. They were surrounded by armed RIC men, paraded to court in style which included escorts of armoured cars.

The Republican police and the Republican Army were virtually unarmed and still poorly equipped (materially) a year later when the British sued for a Truce.

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