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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

Intro and Menu | February Articles

Leinster Leader, Saturday 28 February 1903 -Page 3.


On the motion of Mr. O’Ferrall, seconded by Mr. Shiel a resolution was passed expressing their earnest hope that the motor race for the Gordon-Bennett Cup would be held in Ireland and on the course suggested.


Carlow Petty Sessions.

Before the Right Hon. H. Bruen (in the chair), Capt. Thomas and R. R. Kennedy, R.M.

Mr. Colman, Dublin Street, Carlow, was charged by Sergt. Frizelle with have on Feb 13th driven a motor car on the footpath at Straw Hall.

Complainant said that during the time the defendant was on the footpath a girl with a perambulator had to leave the footpath. Witness with another man was returning off duty and had to stand up by the end of the ditch for the purpose of allowing the accused to pass.

Chairman: What was the description of the vehicle?
Defendant: It was four wheeled motor car.
Chairman: How was it driven or moved?
Defendant: By steam sir. The usual way that those motor cars are driven.
Chairman: Then it was of very considerable size taking up the breadth of the footpath? Witness: Yes, sir– a four wheeled motor car.
Chairman: It wasn’t a bicycle or anything driven simply by the foot?
Complainant: Oh, no, your worship, not at all.
Defendant: I admit being on the bicycle. I merely got up to avoid some stones. It was not a car but a motor cycle. I wasn’t on the footpath for more than thirty or forty yards and when he told me it was not the place to be I immediately got off. When I got on the footpath there was nobody on it. He added that he was not out for pleasure and was merely endeavouring to escape the stones.
Chairman: You appear to have broken the law by going on the footpath. Of course roads have to be repaired at this time of the year and stones have to be put down, but that is not a sufficient excuse for anyone to go on the footpath that is intended for foot passengers. There have been several complaints, I observe, latterly, about persons using those footpaths for riding horses going along the road and otherwise making use or rather abuse of these footpaths, which were intended for pedestrians. It is the first case we had to deal with. We wish to give notice in the first place of the illegality of this practice and you will have to pay 5s and costs or a week’s imprisonment.