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Welcome to Belfast Between The Wars, a blog showcasing a range of interesting stories written in and about Belfast between the end of the First World War in 1918 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. 

  • Writer's pictureBelfast Between The Wars

Northern Whig, Friday 16th February, 1934


What was alleged to be the stock-in-trade of a counterfeit coiner aroused much curiosity at Belfast Custody Court yesterday when it was produced as evidence in a case in which Walter A. Fullerton, Fortingale Street, was charged with passing and attempting to pass counterfeit coins.

Head Constable McLoughlin prosecuted.

Agnes McCartney, an assistant in the confectionery shop of Simon Marshall, Donegall Street, said that on February 13 a man came in and asked for two packets of cigarettes. He gave her a two-shilling piece, and she gave him the cigarettes and 1s 8d change. After he had gone she discovered that the coin was a bad one. About ten minutes afterwards the same man came into the shop and tendered a half-crown in payment for two more packets of cigarettes. Witness then gave the half-crown and two-shilling piece to her employer, Mr. Marshall, who, saying he was going for a policeman, went out of the shop. The men left just after Mr. Marshall. On February 15 witness attended an identification parade and failed to identify any of the men as the one who had given her the coins. She did not see that man in Court now.


Simon Marshall said that McCartney handed him the coins produced. He went to get a policeman, and prisoner, who was standing near the door of the shop, started to run away. Witness gave chase and followed him along Union Street, down Kent Street, across Royal Avenue, and into William Street, where he found that some man whom he did not know was detaining him. Witness said to him, “I want you for passing bad coins.” By this the large crowd which had collected became hostile, and witness had to let prisoner go. On February 14 witness identified the prisoner at a parade in the Police Office as the man he had chased.

Detective-Constable Cremin said that on February 14 he cautioned and charged the prisoner, who said, “As sure as God may strike me dead this charge is concocted.” To the second charge he said, “Not guilty. I know nothing about it.”

Witness continued that when he searched prisoner’s house in Fortingale Street on February 14 he found the chemicals, &c., produced.

Detective-Sergeant Caulfield corroborated. Prisoner was remanded in custody for a week.

Derry Journal, Friday 22nd May 1936

Belfast City Hall was the centre of amazing scenes yesterday, when tenants of municipally-owned houses, many hundreds strong, made demonstrations both within and without the building when the Corporation met to reconsider their recent decision to reduce the standard rents by 2s per week.

The meeting was summoned by the Lord Mayor on a requisition signed by 16 members, and the special business before it was a resolution to rescind the reduction voted by 15 votes against 14 on May 1.

The result of yesterday's meeting was that the reduction stands, again by a majority of one, the voting this time being 22 to 21.

In view of expected demonstrations, a force of police, under a district-inspector, was on duty. They had some difficulty in keeping the more exuberant of the demonstrators, the majority of whom were women, within bounds.

Only a small percentage gained access to the public galleries, where accommodation is very limited. There was disappointment amongst them that more could not gain admission, and they remained a clamorous crowd in the vestibules and stairways.


While the preliminaries of the meeting were in progress, cheers from the body of deputationists could be heard. Many women sat on the floor of the apartment adjoining the Council Chamber while the debate went on.

When the result became known outside the camber, the tenants broke into round after round of delirious cheering. Cries of "Down with the landlords" filled the air and the members of the Council who supported the reductions came in for demonstrations of warm approval. Some of those who had voted the other way were openly denounced.

It was some time before the demonstrating tenants moved off. They were addressed in the City Hall grounds by Alderman Pierce and Henderson and others.

The decision of the Council to reduce the rents is subject to the Home Ministry's approval.

To find out more about the history of Belfast City Hall click here.

  • Writer's pictureBelfast Between The Wars

Belfast Telegraph, Thursday 21st July 1927

At Belfast City Commission to-day, before Lord Justice Best, Michael John Quinn pleaded not guilty to stealing a silver watch and gold chain, value for £12, the property of William Kennedy, grain merchant, 117 Great Victoria Street. Accused was not professionally represented.

The case for the Crown was that Quinn went to William Kennedy's establishment to cash a cheque for his employer. Mrs. Kennedy went out to get the money to change it, leaving prisoner alone in the place. She returned with the change, and when prisoner had left the watch and chain belonging to her husband was missing.

A pawnbroker's assistant spoke to taking Kennedy's watch and chain from Quinn and advancing him money upon them.

Accused entered the witness box and swore that he was never in a pawn office in his life, and, therefore, could not have pawned the articles in question.

Prisoner was found guilty and put back.

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