[Lord] John O’Hagan (1822-90)

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
[Baron O’Hagan;] b. 19 March, Newry, Co. Down; barrister and judge; ed. TCD; contributed “Ourselves Alone”, a poem, to the Nation; also “Dear Land” and other lyrics as “Sliabh Cuilinn” [Gl. for the Sugar Loaf Mt., Co. Wicklow]; ed. The Newry Examiner, 1836-40; known as a Young Irelander, he followed a career at bar; defended Charles Gavan Duffy in libel suit, 1842, and in the state trials of 1843-44; supported a federal solution in Ireland; elected MP for Tralee, 1863;
 
appt. Solicitor-General, then Attorney-General, 1861-61; appt. Lord Chancellor, 1868; created peer 1870; participated in O’Connell Centenary, 1875; re-appt. Lord Chancellor 1880, resigning in 1881; appt. by Gladstone to head the Land Commission; published a study of Carlyle in The Dublin Review, impressing Carlyle himself, as appears from a memorandum in Froude’s Life; wrote a trans. of the “Chanson de Roland” as Song of Roland (1883); issued Speeches and Papers (1885-86); d. 13 Nov. JMC DBIV RAF DIW DIH MKA OCIL

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Works
Poetry, The Children’s Ballad-Rosary (1890). Also trans. Chansons de Roland [1833], Also trans. Chansons de Roland [1833], and so-cited in P. A. Sillard, intro. to Poems of R. D’Alton Williams, Duffy 1894.

National Library of Ireland catalogue (powered by VuFind)
publications of Thomas O’Hagan
  • Speech of the Right Hon. Thomas O'Hagan, M.P., Attorney-General for Ireland, at the hustings of Tralee, on the 15th of May, 1863. (1863)
  • Address on the opening of the fifth annual conference of the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations at Antwerp ... (1877)
  • The Study of Jurisprudence, and the assimilation of law, in England and Ireland. An address delivered before the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 18th ... (1867)
    Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister: Speech of the Right Hon. Lord O'Hagan, Lord High Chancellor of Ireland, in the House of Lords, ... March 13, 1873, on the second reading of the above bill (1873)
  • Speech ... on the motion for going into Committee on the Supreme Court of Judicature Bill, in the House of Lords, June 11, 1874 (1874)  
  • The O’Connell Centenary Address: Dublin, 1875 (1875)
  • A Speech delivered by the Right Hon. Lord O'Hagan: in the House of Lords, on the 11th June, 1874 (1875)
  • Speech of the Right Hon. Lord Hagan as chairman of the thirteenth anniversary dinner of the Newspaper Press Fund: Willis's Rooms, St. James's, London, 20th May, 1876 (1877)
  • Speech ... in the House of Lords, on the second reading of the Intermediate education (Ireland) Bill, June 28, 1878 (1878)
  • The Moore centenary address: Dublin, 1879 (1879)
  • Arrears of Rent (Ireland) Bill: Speech of the Right Hon. Lord O'Hagan, House of Lords, Tuesday, 1 August 1882 (1882)
... and other pamphlets & proceedings.
also .. .
  • Occasional Papers and Addresses (London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. 1884), 400pp. [“Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Cardinal Cadinal Newman; Charles William Russell, D.D.; Henry Grattan ..., et al.]
  • Selected Speeches and Arguments of the Right Hon. Thomas, Baron O’Hagan [ed. George Teeling] (London: Longmans 1885), xii, 527pp.
 

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Prose, Chaucer, in “Afternoon Lectures” (Dublin 1864); The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson (Gill 1887); and a life of Joan of Arc (1893); The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson (Dublin 1887) 88p, being essays published in Irish Monthly, 12 (1884) [analyses Congal and discusses Ferguson’s nature poetry].

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Commentary
Joseph Sweeney, ‘Why “Sinn Féin?”’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 2 (Summer 1971), pp.33-40, notes that John O’Leary, who knew him in Paris, said that he was a fine conversationalist (Recollections of Fenians and Fenianism, 1806, Vol. 2, p.62; here p.38.) Sweeney notes that O’Hagan became a prominent Justice, edited the collected poems of Samuel Ferguson, published a translation of The Song of Roland, and wrote an introduction to an edition of Thomas More’s Utopia.

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Quotations
“Ourselves Alone”: ‘The work that should to-day be wrought, / Defer not till to-morrow; / The help that should within be sought, / Scorn from without to borrow. / Old maxims these - yet stout and true- / They speak in trumpet tone, / To do at once what is to do, / And trust OURSELVES ALONE. // Too long the Irish heart we schooled / In patient hope to bide, / By dreams of English justice fooled, / And English tongues that lied. / That hour of weak delusion’s past - / The empty dream has flown: / Our hope and strength, we find at last, / Is in OURSELVES ALONE. // Aye! bitter hate or cold neglect, / Or lukewarm love at best, / Is all we’ve found, or can expect, / We aliens of the West. / No friend, beyond our own green shore, / Can Erin truly own; / Yet stronger is her trust, therefore, / In her brave sons ALONE. [// .. //] The foolish word “impossible” / At once, for aye, disdain! / No power can bar a people’s will, / A people’s right to gain. / Be bold, united, firmly set, / Nor flinch in word or tone- / We’ll be a glorious nation yet, / REDEEMED -EREST -ALONE!’].

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References
Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. I; contrib. to The Nation as ‘Sliabh Cuilinn’; The Song of Roland (1887); The Poetry of Samuel Ferguson (1890); The Children’s Ballad Rosary. Justin McCarthy, Irish Literature (1904), gives ‘Ourselves Alone’ and ‘Dear Land.’

Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978): biog. notices in Nation (5 Jan. 1889) and Matthew Russell, in Irish Monthly 31 (1903) and 40 (1912). Russell, who thought his Song of Roland ‘one of the finest things of the kind Ireland has contributed to English literature’, wrote 3 articles solely on it, in Irish Monthly 15 (1887), 28 (1900), and 35 (1907). [WORKS, as supra.]

John Cooke, ed., The Dublin Book of Irish Verse (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1909): 1822-1890; “Eire a Rúin” [‘Long thy fair cheeck was pale ...’]; “Ourselves Alone” [‘To do at once what is to do, / And trust Ourselves Alone ... Redeemed - Erect - Alone!’]. Also, H. Halliday Sparling, ed., Irish Minstrelsy (London: Walter Scott 1888), includes O’Hagan, and calls him prob. “Sliabh Cuilinn” [pseud.] of The Nation.

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: University of America 1904), quotes “Ourselves Alone” [as supra]; and “Dear land” [‘ ... crimson red ... shall spread ... Ere I am false to you, Dear land ... ... My grandsire died his home beside, / They seized and hanged him there / His only crime ... your hallowed green to wear // ... Till all my aim on earth became / To strike one blow for you ... If death should come, that martyrdom / Were sweet endured for you, Dear land, / Were sweet endured for you.’

Chris Morash, The Hungry Voice (Gill & Macmillan 1989); b. Newry, 19 March 1822, d. Dublin 12 Nov. 1890; ed. TCD; wrote for The nation as “Sliabh cuilinn” and “Carolina Wilhelmina”; bar; chairman of Irish land Commission, 1881; study of Ferguson’s poetry. Morash choses his “Famine and Exportation” in Songs and Ballads of Young Ireland (London: Downey 1896), p.177.

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Belfast Public Library holds Collected Poems (1921); Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson (1887); The Song of Roland (1883); Punishment and Reform (1861); Songs for the Settlement (1899).

University of Ulster Library, Morris Collection, holds Trinity College No Place for Catholics (CTS, c. 1912) 24pp.

Hyland Books (Oct. 1995) lists Geo. Teeling, Selected Speeches and Arguments of Thomas [sic], Baron O’Hagan (1885), 527pp., port.

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Notes
Silvertongued: O’Hagan is remembered for forensic eloquence along with others in ‘Aeolus’ episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922): ‘Where have you a man now at the bar like those fellows, like Whiteside, like Isaac Butt, like silvertongued O’Hagan?’ (under heading ‘Clever, Very’, in Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., p.175).

Treason-felony: according to Sillard, he acted with Samuel Ferguson in the successful defence of Richard D’Alton Williams against the charge of treason-felony, Nov. 1848.

[Sir] Charles Gavan Duffy: On his death-bed Duffy reputedly murmered his verses, ‘When comes the day all hearts to weigh / If stauch they be or vile, / Shall we forget the sacred debt / We owe our mother isle?’. (See Cyril Pearl, Three Lives of Charles Gavan Duffy [q.d.], p.230; photocopy supplied by Shelley Rose, March 1998.)

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