Mrs. Mary Grace, publican, Market street, Thomastown was prosecuted for a similar offence on the same date.
William Kennedy, Ballyroe and John Hale, Morteen, Thomastown were summoned for being on the premises.
Constable Hennessy, in reply to head-constable Connell stated that on Sunday night, the 18th October, he called at Mrs. Grace’s premises at 8.30 o’clock. He was admitted to the shop by James Power, who was employed on the premises, and who was in charge of the door. On entering the shop he asked Power if he had any persons on the premises and he said “A few” but did not designate or or distinguish any person in particular. Witness opened the door of a snug on the left hand side of the shop door, and on looking in saw Hale and Kennedy there. Hale lived in the town of Thomastown, and Kennedy’s place of abode was about two miles from the publichouse. They were sitting in the snug, and there were four or five porter bottles and glass measures in front of them. Two of the glass measures were about three quarters full of porter. Hale tendered no explanation of his presence there, but Kennedy said he was after coming in from Kilkenny and that he came in for some refreshment. Daniel Grace, the publican’s brother in law was inside the bar, and witness drew his attention to Hale and kennedy, but he only looked at them and left the bar immediately. Patrick Grace, the publican’s son then came in.
Chairman: Is the publican here?
Mr. Patrick Grace said that it being a fair day in Thomastown his mother was busy and could not come there, but he represented her.
Chairman: You cannot represent for her.
Mr. Grace: She was not there at all that day. We are the case ; we are not denying that the men were there.
Chairman : You cannot appear for your mother. You should appear by a solicitor if you wanted to appear at all.
The defendant saud that they were in Kilkenny that Sunday at Redmond’s Volunter Meeting and had nothing to eat or drink all day. He was out from 7 o’clock in the morning until late in the evening.
Chairman: Are you an old soldier?
Kennedy: Yes. Continuing, he said the Thomastown Volunteers “fell in” at 11 o’clock that Sunday morning at the school house and marched to the railway station. There was no room for them on the first or second trains to Kilkenny, and they had to remain on th platform until close to 2 o’clock. On arrival in Kilkenny, they again “fell in at the railway station and marched to the market where they were kept for about twent minutes to 6. That left them very little time before the departure of the train to get any refreshments in Kilkenny. We went into one public house – about one hundred of us – but there was no-one serving there but two women and some of us had to come without any drink. Some of them who wee in the back yeard said that the porter was rotten (laughter)
Chairman: Was that Mrs. Grace’s porter?
Kennedy: Oh, no, but the Kilkenny porter (laughter), and I said “If it is rotten for you it is rotten for me” (renewed laughter), so I came away without the drink. When I came to Thomastown I rapped at Mrs. Grace’s door and the man at the door asked who was there. I said “A Traveller”. He said “You are not a Traveller” and I said “I am Travelling all day” and “I think I am entitled to a drink”. He said then “Come in.” We had only one drink taken when the constable came in ; we were not two minutes in the public house.
Chairman: Is the oher man a volunteer also?
Kennedy: Yes, he belongs to the band and was beating the side-drum all day (laughter)
Replying to the Chairman, Sergeasnt Gormley said that on 5th March 1912, Mrs. Grace was convicted of a technical offence against the Licensing Laws and fined 2s. 6d., and costs.
Head-constable Connell said it was in defendants favour that the admitted the offence.
Mr. Patrick Grace : I did not know these men were in the shop at all that evening, and I told that to Consable Hennessy.
Constable Hennessy: That is so.
Kennedy: I can prove it if necessary that Mr. Grace did not know we were in the shop. I am already at a loss of 2s. for my coming here and I think that is enough punishment (laughter)
Chairman: The publican must be fined £1. It is the second offence and we cannot fine her less. The two gallant Volunteers seem to have been labouring under an impression that the had a right to have a drink there that evening, but they were wrong in so thinking. To show them we respect their doubt about it we will fine them 1s instead of 5s.
In reply to the Chariman, Head-constable Connell said that as the offence had been admitted he would not make an application to thave the conviction recorded on the publican’s licence.
Taken from ‘The Kilkenny People‘, November 7th, 1914