Posted in Posts and podcasts

Bell v. Molony – 1890

Photo: Tommy O’Donnell

THE IRISH TIMES Saturday, July 19, 1890 p.9
A CLERGYMAN CHARGED WITH LIBEL
Yesterday, before the Judge of the Court of Probate, who sat to hear common law motions, the case of Bell v. Molony was brought forward. The action was to recover £5,000 damages for alleged libel. The venue had been laid in the County of Antrim, and the action was set down for hearing at the present Belfast Assizes.
The Right Hon. Samuel Walker, Q.C. (instructed by Mr. Valentine Kilbride), applied on the part of the defendant to change the venue either to the County of Galway or to the City of Dublin. Counsel said the plaintiff, Mrs. Agnes Bell, resided at Maryville House, Kinvarra, Co. Galway, and in the year 1886 she exerted herself to get subscriptions for the poor and the evicted tenants of the district in which she resided. She sought the assistance of Mr. Ford, of the Irish World, which was published in America, and in that journal an appeal was made on the 29th May, 1886. In that appeal Mrs. Bell said that the distress existing in Kinvara was appalling, and that the women and children there were being turned out wholesale into the streets. The defendant, the Rev. John Molony, who was the Catholic clergyman of the district, wrote two letters to the Tuam News with reference to the conduct of the plaintiff, and these letters formed the ground of the present action, it being alleged that they conveyed that the plaintiff had been guilty of misconduct and misapplication of moneys received for the benefit of the poor, and was unworthy of confidence. The defendant denied the statements made by the plaintiff in the Irish World, and said that her description as to the condition of the people, &c., was a tissue of lies and misrepresentations. There was no appearance for the plaintiff, and the venue was changed to Dublin.

Author:

B.A., M.A.(Archaeology); Regional Tour Guide; Dip. Radio Media Tech; H.Dip. Computer Science.

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