Barrister-Barrister Shooting, 1815

In addition to shooting solicitors they did not agree with, early Irish barristers also occasionally settled by force of arms disputes between themselves. One example is reported in the Dublin Correspondent, 9 May 1815:

“In consequence of some warm language which passed in the Four Courts yesterday, between Messrs Wallace and O’Gorman, two Gentlemen of the Bar, a meeting took place between them this morning, in Carton Demesne, the former attended by Mr Husband, and the latter by Mr Bennet. After discharging two shots each, Mr Wallace received a slight wound in the hip, which terminated the affair, and the two gentlemen left the ground perfectly satisfied.”

The uninjured party in this dispute, Nicholas Purcell O’Gorman BL (later QC), was famously sued for deceit some years later by James Magee of the Dublin Evening Post for having ‘induced him to publish an incorrect account of a trial in which he had been involved’. O’Gorman seems to have elaborated on what he actually said in court by making it more impressive than it actually was, thereby exposing Magee to liability.

The jury found against O’Gorman, who had to pay substantial damages. The start of a fraught relationship between the Bar and the Press?!

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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

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