A story of old Irish hero Daniel O’Connell, quoted in Sean O’Faolain’s biography :

I remember I was once counsel before Judge Day for a man who had stolen some goats. The fact was proved; whereupon I produced to old Day an old Act of Parliament, empowering the owners of cornfields, gardens, or plantations to kill and destroy all goats trespassing thereon. I contended that this legal power of destruction clearly demonstrated that goats were not property ; and I thence inferred that the stealer of goats was not legally a thief, nor punishable as such. Poor Day charged the jury accordingly, and the prisoner was acquitted.

Articles by Helen Andrews

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