Grand parade Ml Linehan


Our History


Michael Powell Snr, qualified as a Solicitor on the 30th of November 1927. He commenced practice as a sole practitioner at No. 50 Grand Parade (located over the archway into the present city car park).
In 1937 (approx) he purchased the practice of Maurice Healy at No. 48 Grand Parade and at that stage his practice moved into this premises.
It is notable that Mr. Healy retired from the legal profession at that time to go and work in the Ford Motor Works in Dagenham as employment was much more lucrative and certain in the motor trade in those days. This gives a strong indication of the difficulties encountered in the legal provision even at that time.
Michael Powell Snr was then joined by Mr Jack Sheehy who dealt almost exclusively with defence litigation work on behalf of the then Shield Insurance company.
Michael Powell Snr was subsequently appointed as City Sherriff a position he held until he resigned to allow his son Patrick C. Powell to step into his shoes as the City Sherriff.
Patrick (otherwise Pat) also joined the practice on qualifying and his area of law was mainly litigation, licensing and property. When he was appointed City Sherriff he continued to have a presence in the practice but as time went by he was obliged to give more and more time to the Sheriff’s office which became full time by the mid 80’s.
Michael C. Powell qualified as a Solicitor in 1973
In 1974 Maurice McGrath whose practice immediately adjoining 48 Grand Parade died suddenly and Michael Powell Snr and his firm took over the practice.
Following this the business changed into a partnership with Michael Snr, Michael C. Powell and Deirdre O’Mahony (present County Registrar).
Sean Durcan began his apprenticeship in the offices of 48 Grand Parade and qualified as a Solicitor in October 1981 and was admitted as a Partner in 1990 at which time Deirdre O’Mahony had become County Registrar and resigned as a Partner of the Firm.
When Michael Snr began his practice he was joined early on his career by Elma Crowley who continued to work in the Grand Parade offices into her 80’s. Ml Snr himself continued to practice on a part time basis into his early 80’s he subsequently retired completely and died at the age of 87 in 1990.
Elma Crowley passed away in 2011.
When Michael Powell commenced business there were no dictating machines, there was only 1 phone in the office so any calls to be taken was done so in the main office downstairs.
As technology improved extension telephones were installed in the upstairs section of the office.
Staff at that time had to be able to take short hand dictation until the arrival of the earliest dictation machines, while Elma Crowley typed all the work for Michael Powell, when Jack Sheehy began work in the office by and large he did his own typing as indeed did Patrick Powell.
When the firm acquired the practice of the late Maurice McGrath in 1974 a certain prominent building firm in Cork was also taken over as a client at that time. Because of the extensive building works been done and the level of documentation to be produced the firm was one of the first to obtain a word processors in mid 1975. These word processors were the forerunners of the modern day computers each had a separate printer and the word processors itself was in itself a desk the screen was a single line screen and at that time it was also common not to have a photocopier of ones one because the quality of copies was generally poor unless one was in a position to acquire a very large size commercial photocopier which would have taken over almost half a room.
In any event, there was a photocopying service on the Grand Parade so all copying was outsourced. In the late 70’s a photocopier was installed when the size became more manageable.


Ml Powell SNr


Michael Powell was very well known in Cork City both because of his practice and indeed from his role as the City Sheriff, at one point he was asked to stand in politics but declined and while he had his own views he did not actively participate in politics, he had a keen interest in sport playing hurling for Presentation College and subsequently played rugby with Sundays Well RFC. He was also a keen swimmer and water polo player.
He was president of the Munster branch and was also an Irish selector for the IRFU. He represented Sunday’ Well RFC on the Munster branch.
As a boy he was reared by his mother a young widow with a large family to support. His mother received great assistance and support from her brother Michael Collins.
Michael Powell always maintained a relationship with General Tom Barry who became a client of his despite being on the anti treaty side in the civil war.
Michael Powell retained a mills bomb (diffused) on his desk which was an old partner’s desk in 48 Grand Parade. All these memorabilia are still carefully stored and maintained by members of the family and his upstairs office on the first floor used by the late Michael Powell remains largely unchanged since the 1930’s although it now has a different use.
The firm moved to its present location at No. 5 Lapps Quay in Easter 2005 where it continues to grow with the most recent innovative strategy being that of bringing in non legal members to a management board for the firm.
The present firm consists of the two partners, Michael C. Powell, Sean Durcan, with assistant Solicitors Jenny Powell and Katherina White.