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'Tis All Lies, Your Worship': Tales from the District Court

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'Tis All Lies, Your Worship': Tales from the District Court

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...These tales from the District Court ... are written with wit and elegance by a wise and humane observer of the human condition.' -- From the Foreword by Gearoid o Tuathaigh


The origins of the present District Court in the court system inaugurated in 1919 by the First Dail mirror the confident surge towards political independence, but its raison d'etre was an immediate reaction to the outbreak of the Civil War. It was, therefore, already in place and functioning even before the Irish Free State was established. Many of the 27 lawyers appointed in great haste to be its first justices were established scholars and writers in other fields, and most passed their entire judicial careers of in the same area, yet none appears to have left a record of his experiences.

...Tis All Lies, Your Worship', which is part history, part memoir, traces the development of the District Court in the life of the community and the country. Mary Kotsonouris, who is the historian of the Dail Courts, served for nine years as a district judge. She has talked to judicial colleagues, registrars, journalists and witnesses, pored over files in the National Archives and read court reports in contemporary newspapers. What emerges is a fascinating and often amusing picture of what actually goes on in the District Courts throughout Ireland.

In addition to explaining how the District Courts were founded, Kotsonouris describes some of the many colourful justices who sat on the courts and the many intriguing cases they presided over. There is a chapter on the sensational Rose Tattoo prosecution, as well as a discussion of the changes in jurisdiction brought about by the introduction of family law, the European Union, the Road Traffic Acts and more. The style is lively throughout and the stories are illustrated by amusing anecdotes and asides.


...These tales from the District Court ... are written with wit and elegance by a wise and humane observer of the human condition. They will entertain. But they will also prompt a more reflective response. The Courts are a vital site of discourse on our values and standards as a society. What is done and said, what is determined and declared, what is "conducted" in the courts, resonates within the wider society, affirming or calling into question its notions of what, in colloquial terms, it considers "right" and "wrong".

From the Foreword by Gearoid o Tuathaigh

About the Author

Mary Kotsonouris is a graduate in history and in law of the National University of Ireland and of Trinity College, Dublin. She served as a judge of the Dublin Metropolitan District for nine years. She is the author of Talking to Your Solicitor, Retreat from Revolution: The Dail Courts, 1920-1924, and The Winding-up of the Dail Courts, 1922-1925. She lives in Castleconnell, County Limerick.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Kotsonouris, Mary
Editor No
Print Format Hardback
ISBN-10 1905785976
ISBN-13 978-1-905785-97-1
Illustrations No
Date of Publication May 2011
Number of Pages 250

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