In the long arms of the law!

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Where: Dublin, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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In this lovely if damaged glass plate, from the Clarke Collection, a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police appears to have at least one prisoner on their way to the station. In the background some onlookers are watching the action!

While there is perhaps a perfectly innocent explanation for what (we think) is captured here, the "snatched" nature of the shot suggests that Clarke was quickly trying to capture something fleeting. And hence that there is something more to this than just three people walking nonchalantly down Eden Quay. Whether with prisoner(s) in tow or not, our resident law-enforcement expert tells is that this peeler (collar number C22) was likely attached to Store Steet station. And likely on his way back there....

Photographers: J. J. Clarke

Collection: Clarke Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1897-1904? Possibly after 1902 (helmet badge)


You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 23941
clarkephotographiccollection jjclarke johnjosephclarke 1879–1961 brianpclarke–donor nationallibraryofireland edenquay dublincity dublinmetropolitanpolice constable c22 storestreet boy hangerson helmet dublin seamensmission yourenickedmeoldson

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    • 24/Aug/2018 08:10:06

    Streetview -

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    • 24/Aug/2018 08:13:51

    either the "prisoner" is not very tall or the policeman must be 2m+

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    abandoned railways

    • 24/Aug/2018 09:46:28

    They could be in a relationship, a la Monty Python sketch.

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    John Spooner

    • 24/Aug/2018 10:00:29

    The Seamens Mission and Sailors' Reading Room at 13 Eden Quay was opened on Friday July 20th 1888, at 3:00 pm. In September the Dublin Daily Express reported:

    The Missions to Seamen Institute, 13 Eden quay, which was opened three weeks ago, is much prized by seafaring men. On Thursday last 72 visited the Sailors’ Reading Room, 12 letters were written there, 4 letters received there for seamen, 28 present at the temperance meeting in the evening, and 4 pledges taken, two of which temperance pledges were taken by shipwrecked sailors belonging to the crew of the wreck Mazeppa, and who have worked their passage to this port in the barque Miseltoe.
    (Dublin Daily Express - Saturday 15 September 1888)

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    abandoned railways

    • 24/Aug/2018 10:01:59

    The Helmet Plate was used from 1902 to 1922. No laurels were used in Victoria's time.

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    John Spooner

    • 24/Aug/2018 10:10:42

    The entry from the Seamen's Handbook (Boston, Mass, 1920)

    SEAMEN'S INSTITUTE, 12- 14 Eden Quay, Tel. Dublin 460. Open day and night to all seamen without distinction of creed, nationality, or color. Accommodations for 7 officers and 35 men. Rates per day, including subsistence, 4 shillings and 6 pence, rates per week 35 shillings; rates per night, bath, 1 shilling and 6 pence. Check-room, restaurant, lunch-counter, reading-room, writing-room, library, billiard rooms. Entertainments every Wednesday evening.

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    John A. Coffey

    • 24/Aug/2018 10:16:49

    " I am taking you to Store Street"

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    • 24/Aug/2018 10:49:34

    Street numbers must have changed, as the equivalent building is now 15-17 Eden Quay

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    abandoned railways

    • 24/Aug/2018 11:27:58

    The boy appears embarrassed, head lowered, maybe he is involved.

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    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 24/Aug/2018 13:31:35

    That crack in the pavement has me worried.

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    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 24/Aug/2018 13:42:12

    The Port of Dublin Society for the Religious Instruction of Seamen was founded in 1822. In 1864 it was soliciting contributions; one of the named collectors was one H.A.Cowper, 13 Eden Quay.

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    abandoned railways

    • 24/Aug/2018 16:03:17

    They had numbers on the lapel. So 622.

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    • 24/Aug/2018 19:13:13 No Fred, the peeler was from the "C" District which consisted of Store Street, the Headquarters of the District, Fitzgibbon St. and the North Wall so he would have been C22. The nearest station would have been Store Street so that is where they were heading. The DMP and later the DMG were not given a personal issue of handcuffs and so the peeler has his prisoner held by the wrist. You will also note that he is wearing his "duty" band on his left cuff indicating that he was on duty.

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    • 24/Aug/2018 21:29:30

    We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at time behind bars.

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    • 25/Aug/2018 01:01:45

    What’s in his left hand ? A key !!

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 26/Aug/2018 21:43:15

    Thanks all. Including to as resident law-enforcement expert. I have updated the description/etc to summarise the inputs. And, while not a bobby or a brief myself (and though the statue of limitations is likely long since lapsed), I've given ourselves an "out" - in case we're just seeing three unconnected people who just happen to be walking in the same direction :)