Sumptuous Connaught Bar Dinner, 1831

From the Freeman, 7 November 1831:

“Dinner to Stephen Woulfe, Esquire, Assistant Barrister:

The solicitors practising in this district invited our learned and impartial Assistant Barrister to a sumptuous dinner at Kilroys on Saturday last. Every luxury of the season was served up in the best style, and the wines, which were of the choicest description, circulated in plentiful profusion. Our worthy Mayor, Edmond Blake Esq, Mr JJ Bodkin, MP and Counsellors John Blake, Henry Baldwin and William McDermott were invited on the occasion, and the evening passed off in the utmost harmony and good humour – Connaught Journal.

Kilroys’ was the famous Kilroys Hotel, Gort, described in the Athenaeum of 1843 as providing comfortable accommodation and an intelligent host, although Thackeray disliked the view and had a poor opinion of the company (presumably the Connaught Bar was elsewhere at the time of his visit?)

The 19th century Irish legal system allowed practising barristers to fill part-time judicial roles as ‘Assistant-Barristers’. Mr Woulfe was later appointed Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. Sadly, his time in Court 3 was very brief, possibly due to courtroom sanitary issues. Hopefully Circuit gourmandising did not contribute!

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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

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