Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Dog License

I referred to the Irish Petty Sessions Court on 10th December last and on 13th January when I gave the details of a couple of incidents. I did not however show how these incidents appeared in the local crime book. Clearly from the two I gave in January they were minor offences. The same is true of the copy I have produced above.

The complainant in whom we are interested was S. Const George McIlhagger. In this case the defendant had a dog in his possession without a license in 7th of June 1877. In a sparsely populated rural area (this was Galway) those who were charged with enforcing the law both on the streets and in the courts mostly had very minor incidents to deal with. The punishment in the last column was to take out a license forthwith, with a cost of 1/- (one shilling).

I write this just after watching the election of the new Pope who has taken the name Francis. I don't know whether this is meant to refer to St. Francis of Assisi who had a special care for animals. Let's hope the motive of S. Const George was similar in prosecuting this case!

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