The Nationalist, 29 March 1941
A report of a “Maiden Assize” in Clonmel in 1941. Maiden Assizes occurred when a court hearing sat with no criminal offences in front of it to be tried, and in such circumstances it was the tradition that the County Sheriff presented the Judge with a pair of white gloves. Whilst the origin of the tradition seems to be lost in the mists of time it’s not the only form of legal pageantry that involved the donning of ceremonial apparel – in less happy circumstances, when a judge passed the death sentence, he donned the “Black Cap” (the unfortunate Harry Gleeson would be a witness to such a sombre judgement the next week). Meanwhile, the following month it was business as usual at the next District Court sittings. Cases included trespass, assault, a chocolate-and-cigarettes heist and a prosecution for the sale of sub standard wheat seed.