On this occasion the judge felt the case a difficult one and decided to defer judgement. Another court case involving a billiard marker in 1904 was part of what the Irish Times was calling the ‘Grand Canal Mystery’, where a woman’s body had been found in the canal and her husband, a billiard marker, was the prime suspect. Bridget Devereux’s body had been found by a policeman on duty in the Great Brunswick Street area and it transpired according to some witnesses that she had had a row with her husband Edward Devereux, outside of the Workingmen’s Club on Wellington Quay in Dublin. For two weeks the Irish Times covered the story, before the judge decided the case required to be tried by Grand Jury because it was difficult to place the accused anywhere near where the body had been found, but when this was challenged the case was dismissed. Other examples of criminal behaviour involving billiard markers – in petty robbery and assault are below:
Such instances of criminality indicate a lot to us about the social position of those young men who took up the job of billiard marker, but of course can’t be the whole story of the billiard markers of Ireland. Census data can be illuminating, but the occupational divisions of reports can hide away specific jobs undertaken, as in this case, by dozens; thankfully through wonderful resources like our online Census Archives of 1901 and 1911 and digital newspaper archives, we can find the people who worked at these jobs, and bring their stories to life; remembering a forgotten occupation.