The story of how Patrick Kavanagh, The Leader magazine and the soon to be Taoiseach Liam Costello held the attention of Dublin in one of the most exciting and revealing Irish literary trials of the last century.
In October 1952 The Leader , a political and cultural magazine published an unsigned 'Profile' of the poet, Patrick Kavanagh which he considered offensive. He sued The Leader (and its printer) for damages. The case came to court in February 1954. Former Taoiseach John A. Costello appeared as lead barrister for the defence. The libel case became a public sensation, receiving extensive newspaper coverage at the time, with lengthy queues of spectators outside the court each day .Costello's detailed and masterful cross-examination of Kavanagh which went on over a number of days fatally undermined Kavanagh's case.The jury found that Kavanagh had not been libelled. Kavanagh was both personally humiliated and financially devastated. On appeal the decision was later overturned but the damage to Kavanagh had been done ...PRAISE FOR THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE MAYO LIBRARIAN'a timely reminder' The Irish Examiner'Pat Walsh has unearthed a gem of a story' The Western People
A detailed and intruiging account. -- First Flush Books Ireland - Dublin
Pat Walsh is a Librarian with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Library Service. Originally from Mayo, he now lives and works in Dun Laoghaire. He is the author of The Curious Case of The Mayo Librarian which Mercier published in 2009.