The First Barristers’ Robing Rooms, 1851

From the Dublin Weekly Nation, 14 August 1875, an illustration of the Liberator Daniel O’Connell exiting the original robing room of the Four Courts.

This room’s situation below the Round Hall rendered it vulnerable not only to flooding, but also to incursions by curious members of the public, one of whom was bold enough to publish the following letter of complaint in the Freeman’s Journal of 6 November 1851:

“During Term Time a person anxious for the encouragement of Irish Manufacture, who had easy access to the Dressing-Rooms of the Four Courts, counted all the outside coats which the Professional Gentlemen had left behind them whilst in their robes, and out of close of Four Hundred Paletots, how many of the owners had the humanity to think that Irish Tailors and Woollen Drapers could not live without employment? Neither more nor less than Twenty-Three…

Professional Gentlemen, who complain of the want of business, let me ask you, how can you have it, when you deprive the trader of his fair share of profit, and unless in the Bankrupt or Insolvent Court at the same time, deprive yourself of any chance of the tradesman’s ever becoming your client?”

An early campaign to buy Irish? Mr O’Connell, partial to a well-cut Irish coat himself, would doubtless have approved!

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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