Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish Bar Senior Counsel.

Thursday, 24 February 1949

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 114 No. 4

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Proinsias Mac Aogáin: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  asked the Taoiseach whether he is aware that there is some confusion as to whether a Senior Counsel of the Irish Bar can describe himself as a King's Counsel; and, if so, whether he will make a definitive statement of the position.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  There are a number of members of the Bar who, before the Treaty of 1921, were called to the Inner Bar by being created King's Counsel. After the establishment of the state, the procedure was altered, and the practice which has obtained since July 1924 is that of the issue of a Patent of Precedence entitling a member of the Outer Bar to be called to the Inner Bar by the Chief Justice. In accordance with professional usage, such member, when called to the Inner Bar, is described as Senior Counsel.

So far as I am aware, no confusion exists in this matter, which is quite clearly understood by the legal profession; although, probably because the description of Senior Counsel has a professional connotation equivalent to that of King's Counsel, the latter description is sometimes used in reference to Senior Counsel.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Is the Taoiseach aware that there is a gentleman called John A. Costello described in the telephone book as K.C.?

[494]The Taoiseach: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I learned that for the first time last night when I saw this question for the first time.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Is the Taoiseach aware that anyone who gets Who's Who or Thom's Directory gets every year a slip where one can make any change necessary; and in both these books John A. Costello has been described as K.C. since 1926?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Do not interrupt him.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Some people have grave doubts as to whether he is a Republican masquerading as a King's man or a King's man masquerading as a Republican.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Now we are hearing Deputy Frank Aiken, K.C.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  And we do not hear any protest from the Opposition.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  He set the example—a disorderly record.

Mr. Boland:  A contemptible lot of skunks.

Mr. McAuliffe: Information on Patrick McAuliffe  Zoom on Patrick McAuliffe  Is the Taoiseach prepared to receive a deputation from the Solicitors' Institute in Cork?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy will withdraw the word “skunk”.

Mr. Boland:  I will not.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Then the Deputy will leave the House.

Mr. Boland:  I will leave the House, for that is what they are, contemptible skunks. They are people who never protested when there was danger—but when the danger is over, of course they did.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  Hear, hear.

Mr. Boland:  I never ran away, not like that skunk there. I assure the Chair the insult was not intended for you, Sir, but for the contemptible skunks opposite and particularly that squealing skunk.

Deputy Boland with draw from the House.

[495]Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  I want to give notice that I propose to raise as unsatisfactory the Taoiseach's answer to these questions, on the adjournment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  That is a matter the Chair will consider.


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