Recorder of Cork

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The Recorder of Cork was a judicial office holder in pre-Independence Ireland. The Recorder was the chief magistrate of Cork city: his principal duty was to keep the peace. The office was broadly similar to that of the Recorder of Dublin, except that the Recorder of Cork, unlike his Dublin counterpart, did not have power to hear cases involving a capital crime. A statute of 1877 stated that where possible the Recorder should also be the Chairman of the Cork East Riding Quarter Sessions.[1] The office was an onerous one, requiring at least two sittings of the Court every week; at certain times the Recorder had a Deputy Recorder to assist him.[2] As with the Recordership of Dublin, it could be combined with another legal office, such as that of King's Serjeant-at-law. Several Recorders of Cork also served in the Irish House of Commons. Like the Recorder of Dublin he was elected by the Corporation, rather than being appointed by the Crown.

The first known reference to the office of Recorder of Cork is in a charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1574, requiring the Recorder to act as a "keeper of the peace", justice of oyer and terminer, and justice of gaol delivery.

The office of Recorder of Cork was abolished, along with all other recorderships in the Irish Free State, in 1924.[3]

Notable Recorders[edit]

Notable recorders of Cork have included:

List of Recorders of Cork 1574–1924 (incomplete)[edit]


  1. ^ County Officers and Courts (Ireland) Act 1877 s.86
  2. ^ Act for the Regulation of Cork 1772 :"Recorder or Deputy Recorder"
  3. ^ Courts of Justice Act 1924 s.51
  4. ^ Kenny, Colum The King's Inn and the Kingdom of Ireland Dublin Irish Academic Press 1992 pp. 51-2
  5. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926
  6. ^ Ball p.177
  7. ^ Cork City and County Archives IE CCCA U021
  8. ^ O'Flanagan, J. Roderick The Irish Bar London 1879
  9. ^ Published by Michael Joseph Ltd London 1939
  10. ^ Ball p.358