Castleconnell Petty Sessions

This Story is: True Story

In a house in Castleconnell, sat the court of Petty Sessions
For over one hundred years, it judged your ancestors transgressions
Now this house of many wonders
Which documents a thousand blunders
Opens its door and invites you to hear its confessions

It has witnessed village life with all its drama and disputes
Whilst the magistrate and peeler joined in cahoots
As the local population were summoned one by one
To answer to the oppressor for what they had done
Standing before the local gentry, quaking in their boots

You were drunk and disorderedly, allowed your ass to roam
Tippled in a shebheen and disturbed the peace on your way home
Poached a salmon from the Falls of Doonass
And sold it to your landlord, on the way to mass
For these heinous crimes you must be judged and atone

Many cases are written down and some I will reveal
March 24th 1851, two local women got a raw deal
For the crime of vagrancy they were convicted
Ten long days, in Limerick jail they were restricted
Sharing a prison cell without means to appeal

Many defendants are guilty; no one blames the prosecution
Five and seven shillings payment is the solution
On the railway without a ticket
Now you’re in a sticky wicket
The Great Southern and Western will not grant you absolution

In 1918 the margarine prices order was flouted
Fourteen days in Limerick jail the magistrate shouted
Bicycles on the public highway, with no lamps
Schillings collected, now in need of food stamps
A fair justice system, it was never doubted

On the 16 July 1925, I became a private dwelling
My stories have lay hidden, not worth the telling
Swallows nested in my rafters
I witnessed many new chapters
Countless memories I have, some of them quite compelling

Are you wondering do your ancestors feature in my tale
Do you sit around the fire, your grand-children to regale
Secret whispers from the distant past
That leaves them aghast
It’s time to give a voice, to the people who had no bail

For my mother Bridget
Christmas 2020
With Love, Mary

Built c. 1810-1820, the building I refer to is one of the earliest surviving purpose built civic facilities in the village. It is a listed building and was a “Court of Petty Sessions” for over 100 years. It also had a coach-house and cobbled stables at the back. Since 1925 it has being the home of the Malley, Ryan and Beggleton family.

This story is True Story