From the Freeman’s Journal, 2 July 1846:
“SHOOT THE CAT
Mr Nicholas Doolan summoned Mr John Frederick William Bayley ‘for constant annoyance by firing an air gun, and destroying his cats.’ The parties are solicitors, and reside within a short distance of each other – one in Gardiner-street, the other in Gloucester-street.
Mr Doolan said – I find this gentleman is licensed to keep a gun – it’s an air, or, I believe, a walking-stick sort of gun. He either allows persons to fire it, or he does so himself, much to the annoyance of all the neighbours, but more to my annoyance. They are in the habit of shooting at the back of my house, and they killed my pet cats.
A Voice – Shoot the cat!
Mr Doolan – They not only annoyed me, but they actually destroyed all my poor little pet cats, and I can bring a woman who saw a young gentleman in Mr Bayley’s house, or Mr Bayley himself, do it.
Mr Bayley – I never did.
Mr Doolan – They shot two fine pet cats belonging to me, the second of my poor cats was shot on last Saturday week. My servant heard the cries of the poor little creatures, and Mr Fenton sent in his servant to tell me he heard the cries of the poor pet also.
Mr Bayley – Before this case is gone into I must object to it being heard. The bench has no authority whatever to enter on it, and I deny the whole charge in toto
Dr Kelly – Do you say that no person on your premises fired the gun?
Mr Bayley – I do not, but I deny the whole thing altogether.Dr Kelly – Yes, but you know, every man who is annoyed can best tell where the shoe pinches. What do you say to this matter, feeling as a gentleman ought to feel under such circumstances?
Mr Bayley – I say this – Mr Doolan is a professional gentleman, and ought to know his business.
Dr Kelly – Then as a member of one branch of the legal profession, if you hold up a brother member in this way, it is not the way I would treat, or act by a brother member of the profession to which I belong. I ask you, as a gentleman, will you put an end to the annoyance?
Mr Bayley – I will not undertake anything in this case.
Dr Kelly – Then, as a conservator of the peace, I will see what I can do in it.
Mr Doolan went on to say that on Saturday week last one of his little pet cats was shot; he heard the cries of the little creature. Mr Fenton sent in his servant to tell him (witness) and he brought the body of the little animal; life was quite extinct; he went into defendant’s house on Monday, and told him of the matter; defendant said he knew what witness was about and –
Mr Bayley – No, I did not.
Mr Doolan said he addressed the defendant, and hoped he would give him redress by telling him who did it; he (Mr Doolan) knew that Mr Bayley did not do it himself, but he hoped he would give him the name of the person who did so. Mr Bayley said the name would not do any good, as the young gentleman was upwards of 100 miles from Dublin at the moment. Witness said that was not a fair excuse, and if his (witness’s son) had done the like to Mr Bayley, he would give him up to punishment for such an act. He had evidence to show that for the last six weeks the gun was discharged very often during the day, but he could not tell the hand that fired it; Mrs Doolan, who was in a very delicate state of health, was dreadfully annoyed at the conduct of the parties alluded to, and, in fact, the inhabitants of the whole house were in great danger.
Dr Kelly asked defendant if he would give an assurance that the annoyance should be discontinued.
Mr Bayley – I will not give any assurance whatever.
Dr Kelly – Then I will take informations against the young man in your house, and have him brought before me on a warrant. It is outrageous on your part to act in this manner.
Mr Bayley – I never did anything of the kind.”
Mr Doolan – Dr Brady told me his children were in great danger in consequence of the constant shooting.
Dr Kelly – Exhibit your informations before me, summon the young man whose name is unknown, and summon Mr Bayley as a witness here on Friday next, and if the party whose name is unknown refuses to appear, I will have him apprehended on a warrant.
Mr Bayley said he would attend without a summons.
The parties then retired.”
There is no further reference to the case, so it may have settled, hopefully with an apology from Bayley Junior. Mr Bayley lived at 24 Upper Gloucester Street and Mr Doolan at 12 Lower Gardiner Street, and you can see the proximity of their respective premises on the map above.
Mrs Doolan appears to have died not long after, as there is a record of Mr Doolan’s remarriage in 1850 to Alicia, widow of Richard Howard, of Nenagh. Mr Doolan must have been an animal lover, since there is a previous record of him having brought, in February 1839, a private prosecution against a hackney car boy for cruel treatment of his horse. The case made the newspapers when it was discovered that the boy’s income was a scant few shillings a week.
Hard times for children… and animals!