Schoolgirls Ordered Out of Court, 1915

From the Belfast Newsletter, January 18, 1915:

An extraordinary incident occurred at the Four Courts yesterday. Shortly before eleven o’clock one of the courts, in which a divorce action had been listed for hearing before Mr Justice Molony, was invaded by upwards of eighty girls, apparently schoolgirls, whose ages would range from 16 to 20 years. They trooped into the public galleries and into the benches usually occupied by members of the Junior Bar, and their appearance created something of a sensation. Upon the arrival of the Associate of the King’s Bench (Mr Francis Kennedy), however, the order was given “All ladies must leave court, except any who are witnesses.” The order was quietly obeyed, and the schoolgirls trooped out of court.”

Until the famous Russell Divorce case of 1923, in which the pregnant wife of Lord Ampthill’s heir, still technically a virgin, claimed to have been impregnated by sharing a bath sponge with her husband, divorce cases were always heard in public. So the girls were not breaking the in camera rule by attending.

Eighty girls! I wonder what their visit was all about?!

Image Credit

Author: Ruth Cannon BL

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

Leave a Reply