The solicitor in question is me, Brian Morgan, who having qualified in October 1983, immediately grasped the opportunity to acquire the practise of the late Baldwin Murphy who had practised in Clones for many years; his father the late Henry Murphy having established the office in Clones originally in 1895. The Practise, now known as Morgan McManus, previously traded under the name of Henry Murphy & Son. The late Baldwin
Murphy was a well-known and respected member of the Clones community. His late father Henry, after his retirement, was appointed County Registrar of Monaghan. With such a legal pedigree, the opportunity to acquire this Practise was not to be missed.
The advance of technology in Clones!
In 1983 Clones still relied on the manual telephone exchange. To make a phone call to Dublin the call required to be booked through the local Post
Office telephone exchange. When one considers the pace with which technology has since moved (who would have dreamed that solicitors would BLOG!) it is difficult to know how we did business in those days. I always however wanted to be to the forefront of development. I remember that I was the first solicitor in the Monaghan / Cavan area to get a Fax machine. I recall explaining to a solicitor in Cootehill what my new Fax machine was : that it was like sending letters down the telephone line. Another Cavan solicitor wondered where I was going with this, bearing in mind that none of the other solicitors had Fax machines : who was I going to be sending faxes to?
Other solicitors in Clones.
At the time I qualified solicitors in Clones did not retire (they probably just lost their appeal!). My predecessor Baldwin Murphy worked until his death at the age of 83. Another solicitor in Clones, the late Joseph Black (predecessor to the late Josie Duffy) also practised to a ripe old age. The late George Henderson was in practise in 1983 and continued in practise for many years until his 80`s when he sold his business to Kevin Hickey and Pauline Barry (now practising as Barry Hickey & Henderson). The late Michael Knight solicitor had practised up until 1983, having previously worked with his father the late George Knight and these solicitors had likewise worked into their 80`s. In the current Recession it looks like I will be following the tenure of my predecessors!
Clones during the Troubles
All business in Clones, whether it was civil or criminal, was subject to what was happening in Northern Ireland. Our economy was affected by the Troubles. Border roads into Clones were closed. I recall taking a Civil Claim against the British Army when one of their soldiers punctured, with a penknife, the vehicle tyre of a client who had left his car near a road (in the Republic of Ireland) where the people were attempting to fill in a road (in Northern Ireland) which had been bombed by the Army. One of
the big Dublin firms came on record for the British Government raising a Constitutional challenge to the Claim on the basis of sovereign immunity : that the British Government could not be sued (“The King can do no wrong”). The Claim was ultimately settled, on the instructions of my client. I would have loved the opportunity to contest that Claim : to prove that a foreign government could be sued in Civil Courts for wrong of one of its agents undertaken in another state. It was not however to be : a solicitor must always abide by his client`s instructions.
Opportunities to assist in other areas
I have had the privilege of being the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce (back in the 1980`s) and subsequently, from 1999 onwards, the Chairman of the Clones Regeneration Partnership. These bodies have worked towards the regeneration of Clones. This work was particularly difficult in the 1980`s
when the Border Roads were closed. I recall Padraic Flynn, former Fianna Fail Minister, visiting Clones and stating that his “heart bled for Clones” and, having received a roasting from the Clones traders on their plight, was heard subsequently to curse “bleedin` Clones” on his way out the Cavan road back to Dublin. Clones subsequently benefitted from many changes , including the construction of the Peace Link, but the pinnacle will be the opening of the Ulster Canal. Let nobody stand in its way! I`m also very priveleged now to be on the Board of Directors of the Peace Link.
Fergal McManus joins the Practice
In 1998 I was approached by a newly trained solicitor from Cavan, Fergal McManus, for a job. I immediately recognized Fergal`s qualities and his areas of specialism. I was delighted that Fergal later expressed an interest in becoming a Partner in the business. We blend well, where Fergal practises particularly in the areas of property, Commercial Law and Tax and I practise in the areas of Litigation and Employment Law. This enables us to provide a more comprehensive service to our clients.
My wife Dolores joins the business.
Dolores, who previously worked as a GP in the town, subsequently came to work with me and has worked in the Litigation and Probate departments of the business for the past 15 years. She subsequently took charge of Credit Control and has brought the business through these difficult financial times since the economic crash in 2008. Her Medical knowledge has enabled us to provide a top class Personal Injury practice, where we act for both claimants and respondents.
Clones today can be a very different town to what it was in the 1980`s.No longer are the Border Roads closed. Yes, the town is blighted by current economic Recession. Fermanagh Street contains many empty buildings but
the regeneration on the Diamond shows the signs of a town that was once vibrant and can be vibrant again. This can come about by businesses communicating with the world through technology and ignoring physical boundaries. In our own office we now get work through our website and the promotion of our business through our BLOGS and Ezines. Where our Border location was once a disadvantage we have also established a Cross
Border business. Recently, I have co-written a Cross Border Employment Guide with a major UK law firm Pinsent Masons. We really have come a long way from the telephone exchange of the 1980`s!
Morgan McManus looking to the future.
There are many challenges ahead for businesses today. Solicitors are no longer exempt from these challenges. We must prove our ability to survive in the current economic climate. We have risen to the challenge and are now looking forward to the recovery of the Irish economy.
What is special about Morgan McManus?
We care about our clients. We fight their corner. We will look for solutions and, with our expertise, we will always keep our clients right. We will always go that extra distance to get the right result for the client.
Here`s looking forward to many more fruitful years in business