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Amusing Irish Breach of Promise Case.

At Limerick Assizes, before Judge Barry, the case of Alice Normilev. James Cagney has just been heard. Mr Atkinson, in openin' the pleadings, said this was an action to recover £BOO from the defendant for broach of promise of marriage. Plaintiff, a handsome young woman, is the daughter of a farmer residing in BaHinakilbeg, County Limerick. Defendant is also a farmer, and resides in Baliuakillicassy, and is a neighbor of the plaintiff. He is a widower, his wife having died recently. The defendant pleaded that he never agreed to marry plaintiff ; or that if he did they agreed to dissolve the contract by mutual consent. But there were t-.vo rather more frolicsome defences—one was that he was to receive a marriage portion of £3OO, payable before the marriage ; but, more extraordinary still, that the promise to marry was consequent on his receiving the consent of his father-in-law, the father of his deceased wife. (Great laughter.) There was a defence ! one of the most romantic ever made by a widower with two children. (Laughter.) The wedding had been arranged by the two families. Alice (the plaintiff) was to receive £3OO as a fortune, the defendant declaring that ho could get another girl with £OOO, but he preferred his 1 ‘ darling Alice.,” and showed her his keys vhich, he said, would make her mistress of hi* house. They arranged to be married at Shrovetide. They went to confession to prepare for the solemn ceremony ; but on the day for the jjerforinance of tlxe marriage Cagney failed to make hisafxpoaranco, and Misai.Normile lias since tyeen pointed out as “The girl I left behind mo.” (Laughter.) The plaintiff’s brother went on tlxe Monday of Shrovetide to defendant, and asked Cagney why he did xxot fulfil his promise, and come up to his (Normile’s) house. He said he was not able to go, his wife was so lately dead, and xxxade other lame excuses, during which a man named lliordan said to Cagney, “ Faith, you were not able to go to .Normile’s because you were up at Liston’s arranging a marriage with his daughter, and you are to got £6OO. ” And so it turned out to be, he married Miss Liston and got this £(500. The defendant in course of his evidence, said—My eldest daughter, by my first wife, is 15 years of age. I never spoke to plaintiff until the 2nd November last, when I weixt with her brother to her home. I drank too much liquor there, but don’t remember anything about making the match. In the following Fobruaxy, in Newcastle, the plaintiff’s brother offered me £3OO if I would marry her. I said £3OO would not do me. I wanted £350. I drank a great deal, and recollect nothing more. When I awoke I was in bed with my clothes oxx in N ormile’s house. When young Normile came to xxxe to xxxarry his sister, I told him I coidd not as my father-in-law would not give his consent. (Laughter.) The Judge : And you marled another women the next day ! (Laughter.) Witness : Yes. (Groat laughter.) Tlxe Judge ; And whilv you wex - e bargaining for the plaintiff you were aheady exxgaged to your present wife 1 — The witxxess shook his heac‘ and said, Yes, my lord. (Laughter.) I got no fortune with my wife Ellen Liston, nor a promise. To Mr Atkinson—lf Miss Nonnile’s father had come down with £4OO I wmild have thrown up Miss Liston. (Great laughter.) I would not have married thexxx both. (Renewed laughter.) I was engaged to Miss Listoxx while I was proposing for the plaintiff. (Laughter.) The Noruxiles said I would get £3OO with the plaintiff, but they did not produce the money. I told tlxenx I coxxld not many without my father-in-law's consent. (Laughter.)—The Judge : And yet you married next day without his consent/—Witness : Yes. (Great laughter.) —The Jury found for the plaintiff, £6O damages and costs.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879

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Amusing Irish Breach of Promise Case. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879