Hugh Kennedy Ireland’s First Chief Justice – Black and Tans in Ireland at Today in Irish History

July 11: TODAY in Irish History:

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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1879: Hugh Kennedy – Ireland’s First Chief Justice

Birth of Hugh Kennedy who became the first Chief Justice of the Irish Free State.

SupremeCourt.ie states:

Hugh Kennedy was educated privately and at University College Dublin, where he and Felix Hackett founded the student magazine St Stephens, of which he was the first editor. He was also a contemporary of James Joyce. He studied law at Kings’ Inns, was called to the Bar in 1902, and to the Inner Bar in 1920. He was active in the Gaelic League and became honorary secretary of the Ardchraobh (Executive Committee) of the organisation. On the committee with him were such notable figures as Patrick Pearse, Eoin MacNeill and Eamon Ceannt. He was a legal adviser to the Department of Local Government under the first Dáil (Government) and a member of the Committee that drafted the Irish Free State Constitution of 1922.

He became Attorney General in 1922 and was elected TD (parliamentary deputy) for the constituency of South Dublin in 1923. He became the first Chief Justice of the Irish Free State in 1924 and held office until his sudden death in 1936. Among his most significant decisions were Moore v. Attorney General (1934), in which a claim by a company to fishing rights in the tidal portion of the River Erne, based on the ancient Brehon law, was rejected following a historical overview of the interaction between the Brehon law and the common law. He also presided over the Supreme Court in The State (Ryan) v. Lennon (1935), in which the Court held that the parliament had the power to amend the 1922 Constitution by ordinary legislation. Chief Justice Kennedy’s famous dissent is regarded as the foundation of the subsequent “natural law” approach of the Supreme Court to the Constitution.

Chief Justice Hugh Kennedy
Chief Justice Hugh Kennedy seated third from right at Constitution Committee meeting

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1920: First Black and Tan Death

Alexander Will, from Forfar in Scotland, is the first Temporary Constable (Black and Tan) to die in the Irish War of Independence. He is killed during an IRA attack on the RIC barracks in Rathmore, County Kerry.

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Relaxed Black and Tans in Dublin
Source: National Library of Ireland Ref: HOGW 117

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 1921: Truce in War of Independence

At noon, the Irish War of Independence effectively ends as Britain and Irish forces enforce a truce which had been formally agreed two days previously. The Anglo-Irish Treaty would be signed in December and all British forces would leave the Irish Free State (twenty-six counties) by middle of 1922.

It was a brutal war up to the end. The day before the Truce, five IRA members and four English troops were killed in a firefight in Castlemaine, Co. Kerry. The ceasefire came under pressure through 1922, but in general was respected on both sides in what would become The Free State. The IRA continued their campaign in Northern Ireland, and violence would erupt consistently for the next eighty years in that part of the island.

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READ: The Truce at TheIrishWar.com

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1932: Irish Cabinet Minutes

Extract from the minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet indicates that the Cabinet was beginning to think more globally.

Development of Markets other than British:

It was decided that the Acting Minister for Industry and Commerce should cause preliminary investigations to be made as to possibilities of developing markets other than British, and to report thereon in due course to the Cabinet.

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1938: Britain Returns Irish Ports

British garrison which still controlled key Irish ports finally hands them over to the Irish army, seventeen years after the Treaty. Churchill’s view was that the ports were of strategic importance and should not have been handed over. The handover probably ensured Ireland was able to maintain neutrality during World War II, as had they stayed in British hands, it is almost certain they would have been bombed aggressively by Germany.

british garrison leaving Spike Island Cork 1938
British garrison leaving Spike Island Cork 1938

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

   

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