Sylvester O’Halloran (1728-1807)


Life
[pseud. “Miso-Dolos”]; b. Limerick, 31 Dec. 1728; ed. Paris and Leyden, practised as ophtalmic surgeon in Limerick from 1749, where he was largely instrumental in founding the Limerick Infirmary; issued A New Treatise on the Glaucoma or Cataract (Limerick 1750); specialised in head wounds; contrib. letter to Dublin Magazine, Jan. 1763, disputing Scottish origin of MacPherson’s Ossian; Insula Sacra (1770), a plea for the preservation of Irish annals, printed in Limerick;
 
published An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland (1772), followed by Ierne Defended (1774), being a ‘candid refutation’ of Thomas Leland’s History (1773); also A General History of Ireland to close of the 12th century (1774); elected Hon. Member College of Surgeons of Ireland, 1786, having proposed its foundation, 1784; d. 11 Aug.. Limerick
 
noted for his French manner of dress, he was the inspiration for the character bearing the name of Count O’Halloran in Maria Edgeworth’s The Absentee (1812), as ‘the tall thin doctor in his quaint French dress with his goldheaded cane, beautiful Parisian wig and cocked hat’, and is frequently cited in the instructive footnotes to Sydney Owenson [afterwards Lady Morgan]’s The Wild Irish Girl (1806). RR ODNB DIB RAF FDA OCIL

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Works
Historical studies
  • [as pseud. ‘Miso-Dolos’] ‘The poems of Ossine, the son of Fionne Mac Comhal, reclaimed’, in Dublin Magazine (Jan. 1763), pp.21-22;
  • Insula Sacra, or the General Utilities Arising from some Permanent Foundation, for the Preservation of our Antient Annals demonstrated, And the Means pointed out. By Mr. O'Halloran (M.DCC.LXX. [1770]),
  • [2], 35, [1]pp. [microfilm CT Research Publications, Inc., 1983];
  • An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland, in which the assertions of Mr Hume and Other Writers are Occasionally Considered. Illustrated with copper-plates. Also two appendixes: containing 1. Animadversions on an introduction to the history of G. Britain and Ireland, by J. Macpherson, Esq. 2. Observations on the memoirs of Great-Britain and Ireland, by Sir John Dalrymple. By Sylvester O Halloran. (Dublin/London 1772) [pls.; see details]; Do. [electronic edn.] (Mich.: Cengage Gale 2009);
  • Ierne defended: or, A Candid Refutation of Such Passages in the Rev. Dr. Leland's, and the Rev. Mr. Whitaker's works, as seem to affect the authenticity and validity of antient Irish history: In a letter to the antiquarian society. By Mr. O'Halloran. author of An introduction to Irish history (Dublin: Printed for the author, by Thomas Ewing 1774), 36pp.; Do. [electronic edn.] (Mich.: Cengage Gale, 2009) [ESTC T204840];
  • A General History of Ireland, from the earliest accounts to the close of the twelfth century, collected from the most authentic records. In which new and interesting lights are thrown on the remote histories of other nations as well as of both Britains / By Mr. O'Halloran, author of an Introduction to the history and antiquities of Ireland. In two volumes. [2 vols.] (London: printed for the author by A. Hamilton and sold by G. Robinson; J. Murray; J. Robson; Dublin: Mess. Faulkner, Hoey, and Wilson MDCCLXXVIII [1778]), 4°; Do. [electronic edn. from BL copy] ( Mich.: Thomson Gale 2003);
  • An Introduction to and an History of Ireland, 3 vols. (Dublin: printed by H. Fitzpatrick 1803, c.1820]), ill. [engravings of Irish mythology & history; church buildings];
Correspondence
  • J. B. Lyons, ed., The Letters of Sylvester O’Halloran [off-print from North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol. IX, No. 1 (1962), pp.169-81; Do., No. 2 (1963), pp.25-50.
Medical texts
  • A New Treatise on the Glaucoma, or Cataract / by Silvester O’Halloran (Dublin: Printed by S. Powell 1750), [12], xxxiv, [4], 115, [4]pp., ill. [2 folding pls.; 22 cm.];
  • A Critical Analysis of the New Operation for a Cataract: By Mr. O'Halloran, of Limerick, Surgeon and Man-Midwife - Author of a New Treatise on the Cataract (Dublin: printed by S. Powell, for the author, M,DCC,LV. [1755]), [8], 39, [1]pp., 8° [Do., microfilm edn., Woodbridge, CT Research Publications, Inc. 1986].
  • A Concise and Impartial Account of the Advantages Arising to the Public: from the general use of a new method of amputation. By Mr. O'Halloran, ... (Dublin: printed by S. Powell MDCCLXIII [1763]), [4], 15, [1]pp.;
    A Complete Treatise on Gangrene and Sphacelus with a new method of amputation (Dublin: Dublin: P. Wilson; London: printed for Paul Vaillant 1765), [12], xl, 289, [3]pp., 8° [of which pp.272-90 are misnumbered 271-89]; Do. [electronic edn.] (Mich: Thomson Gale 2003).
  • A New Treatise on the Different Disorders Arising from External Injuries of the Head: illustrated by eighty-five (selected from above fifteen hundred) practical cases. By Mr. O’Halloran, M.R.I.A. Honorary Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, In Ireland; and of the Physico Chirurgical Society, and Surgeon to the County of Limerick Hospital (London: printed by G. G. & J. Robinson 1793), [2], 8, 335, [1], ivpp., 8°; Do. [electronic edn.] (Mich.: Thomson Gale 2003).
 
Kith & Kin?: See Sylvester O’Halloran, Surgical Scientific Meeting [transactions of an event in March 1996, Limerick] (Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003).

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Bibliographical details
An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland, in which the assertions of Mr Hume and other writers are
[..] consider[’]d [...] with copper-plates. Also two appendixes - viz., 1] Animadversions on the Introduction to the History of Great Britain and Ireland, by J. Macpherson Esq. 2] Observations on the Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland, by Sir John Dalrymple [...] (London: Printed for J. Murray, No. 32, Fleet-Street, M.DCC.LXXII. [1772]), [8], xx, [2], 384pp., ill., 4°. (See Catalogue of Henry Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books [Cambridge Library] (Cambridge UP 1916) & COPAC.

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Criticism
Russell K. Alspach, Irish Poetry from the English Invasion to 1798 (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania UP [1943] 1959), pp.98-102; John F. Wrynn, S. J. ‘Silverster O’Halloran, 1728-1807, in Irish Literary Supplement 3, 2 (Fall 1984), p.59.

Irish biographical sources incl. Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.456; Irish Book Lover 32.

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Commentary
T. C. Croker, Historical Songs of Ireland (London: Printed for the Percy Society by C. Richards 1841): Croker writes: ‘O’Halloran, who would excite our sympathy on behalf of “those unhappy freebooters, called Rapparees,” states that “they were too numerous to be employed in the [Irish] army, and tiheir miseries often obliged them to prey alike upon friend and foe; at length some of the most daring of them formed themselves into independent companies, whose subsistence chiefly arose from depredations committed on the enemy.”’ (Croker, op. cit., p.24, n.)

Earlier in the same note, Croker writes: ‘The word Rapparee is explained by O’Reilly, as “a litigious, bullying fellow.”’. He goes on to quote McKenzie's Narrative of the Siege of Londonderry (1690): ‘“Not only the men, [...] but the women and boys too, began to furnish themselves with skeans and half pikes; it being the great business of the Irish smiths in the country to make this sort of arms for them. These were afterwards called Rapparees, a sort of Irish vultures that follow their armies to prey on their spoil.” Dean Story observes of the Rapparees, that they were “very prejudicial to our [William’s] army, as well by killing our men privately, as stealing our horses and intercepting our provisions. But after all,” he I adds, “lest the next age may not be of the same humour with this, and the name of Rapparee may possibly be thought a finer thing than it really is, I do assure you that, in my style, they can never be reputed other than tones, robbers, and bogtrotters.” (Croker, idem.)

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George A. Little, Dublin Before the Vikings (1957), remarks that O’Halloran, speaking of events which took place in the second century in his History of Ireland, writes of Dublin of the east-west esker/road in ancient Ireland: ‘[Slighe Mór or Eiscir Riada] was a deep trench cut, and high walls made, strengthened from place to place with redoubts, which were to be protected by 9,000 men [...]’ (Introduction to an History of Ireland, [Dublin:] Fitzpatrick, 4 Capel St. 1803, Vol. II, p.237.) Little also quotes O’Halloran on the Irish name of Dublin ‘even in those days we find it called Atha-Cliath-Dubhlini’ (Ibid., Vol. II, p.238).

Sydney Owenson [afterwards Lady Morgan], The Wild Irish Girl (1806)
‘Mr O’Halloran, with a great deal of spirit and ingenuity, endeavours to prove, that the German knighthood (the earliest we read of in chivalry) was of Irish origin: with what success, we leave it to the impartial reader to judge. It is, however, certain, that the German Ritter, or knight, bears a very close analogy to the Irish riddaire. In 1395, Richard II in his tour through Ireland, offered to knight the four provincial Kings who came to receive him in Dublin. But they excused themselves, as having received that honour from their parents at seven years old - that being the age in which the Kings of Ireland knighted their eldest sons. — See Froissart.’ (Footnote to Letter XII.)
 
Note that Owenson named her heroine in O’Donnell: A National Tale (1806) Charlotte O’Halloran, presumably in honour of Charlotte Brooke and Sylvester O’Halloran.

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Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. I; In Essay on Irish Bulls, the Edgeworths express surprise at the indignation of certain Irish historians, like O’Halloran, at the phrases by Voltaire in Le Siecle de Louis XIV, as follows, “Il y a des nations dont l’une semble faite pour d’être soumise a l’autre [... &c]’ [for the Edgeworth’s response, see supra.] [12]. ALSO Rafroidi, 1980, Vol. II, Medical man and archaeologist; Insula Sacra (Limerick 1770); An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland (Dublin: Ewing 1772); Ierne Defended (Ewing 1774) 64p.; A General History of Ireland (London 1778); ‘An Introductory discourse to the Poem of “Conloch”, in ‘Reliques of Irish Poetry’ [in assoc. with Charlotte Brooke] (1789).

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Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fior-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior To The Nineteenth Century (Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Pub. Co. 1986), writes: Sylvester O’Halloran contributed a letter to the Dublin Magazine, signed ‘Miso-Dolos’, in Jan 1763 (p.21-22), headed ‘The poems of Ossine, the son of Fionne Mac Comhal, reclaimed’, asserting patriotically that ‘the esteem which mankind conceives in general, is always proportion to the figure they have made in arts and arms’, impugning the Dempsterian embezzlement, and praising ‘our great primate Usher [Ussher] who, though not of Irish descent, yet thought the glory of his country worth contending for, and adverting harshly to ‘the Caledonian plagiary’ [401]. Sylvester O’Halloran reacted to Leland’s History with his Ierne defended, with the subtitle, ‘a Candid Refutation of such passages in the Rev Dr. Leland’s and the Rev Mr Whitaker’s Works, as seem to affect the Authenticity and Validity of Antient Irish History’ [404]. Sylvester O’Halloran was the harbinger of the younger generation whose antiquarianism [as distinct from O’Connor’s] was overtly national. He had learned Irish as a boy from Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill, as he tells in An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland, In which the assertions of Mr Hume and other writers are occasionally considered (London/Dublin 1772) (p.162). [Leerssen, 406]; It opens, ‘Having a natural reverence for the dignity and antiquity of my native country, strengthened by education, and confirmed by an intimate knowledge of its history, I could not, without the greatest pain and indignation, behold […]almost all the writers of England and Scotland (and from them of other parts of Europe) representing the Irish nation as the most brutal and savage of mankind, destitute of arts, letters and legislation [… &c.’; see further as cited by Liam de Paor, infra.] (Cont.)

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Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fior-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior To The Nineteenth Century (1986)- cont.: O’Halloran attacks the calumnies of Cambrensis, but also the more modern ones of Macpherson and Hume (pp.282ff, 337ff), doing so from an Irish rather than a specifically Gaelic standpoint. In his General History of Ireland (1778), he examines the pre-English record of high civilisation. [...] O’Halloran’s works present a confluence of the Gaelic and Anglo-Irish traditions of antiquarianism, and seem more concerned with the vindication of Ireland’s national reputation than with the elucidation of past history. [Leerssen, 415-16] [Page refs. to Joseph Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael, 1986; the same cited in J[oep] Th. Leerssen, ‘Antiquarian Research: Patriotism to Nationalism’, Cyril J. Byrne and Margaret Harry, eds., Talamh an Eisc: Canadian and Irish Essays [Irish Studies St. Mary’s Coll.] (Halifax (Can.): Nimbus Publ. Co.), pp.71-83; p.77.] Robert E. Ward and Catherine Ward, eds., Letters of Charles O’Conor of Belanagare (1988), letters to Dr. Sylvester O’Halloran, 25 Jan. 1769, and following dates; O’Conor gives him an account of the ‘first British Colonies (Fir Bolg and Tuatha Dé Danann) who planted Ireland’, and of the ‘Spanish colony’ that succeeded them (p.222); further approves ‘the plan of study you have chalked out for yourselves in your vacant hours [since] A knowledge of the principle religous doctrines of our Celtic ancestors would be the best clue to a knowledge of their politics and manners.’ (p.223).

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E. G. Stanley, ‘“Taoiseach”, “Chief, Leader”’, in Notes & Queries, 240, 42 (Sept. 1995), pp.178-79, contest[s] Burchfield Supplement to OED, 1988, which cites no earlier usage of the word Taoiseach than 1938, and notes its occurrence in Edward Lhuyd’s Glossography, Pt. 2, Focloir Gaoidheilge-Shagsanach, An Irish-English Dictionary, in his Arch. Britannica (Oxford 1707), which lists ‘Taoiseach, or General’; see also Sylvester O’Halloran, A General History of Ireland [ ...] to the close of the 12th Century (London: printed for the author by A Hamilton, sold by W. Robinson and John Murray in London, and Messrs. Faulkner, Hoey, and Wilson in Dublin, 1778, II; pp.163-64, as follows, ‘Every district in the land, in which an Irish Taoiseach or Lord resided, was obliged to entertain a Danish chief to whom he was able to submit and from whom he [would] receive orders for the government of his people for these/last would receive no commands but directly from their own chiefs’; also ibid., 354-5.

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Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, ‘British Romans and Irish Carthaginians: Anticolonial Metaphor in Heaney, Friel and McGuinness’, PMLA (March 1996), pp.222-36, remarks that W. J. McCormack (ed., Maria Edgeworth, The Absentee), notes that Edgeworth had read the travels of Anachrasis fabricated by Jean-Jacques Barthélemy (1788), in which the virtuous Scythian anthropologist observes the customs of his decadent Greek neighbours. In The Absentee, Colambre ‘discovers an eagle, a white mouse, and a bowl of goldfish at the home of the Irish antiquarian Count O’Halloran. The count, who connects his menagerie with certain mysterious gifts that the Scythians sent to Darius, tells the obnoxious Englishwoman Lady Dashfort, “[A] mouse, a bird, and a fish, are, you know, tribute from earth, air, and water, to the conqueror”. With conscious irony, he modifies Herodotus’s account. To accompany the animals, the Scythian also sent five arrows, and Darius fled Scythia because be was persuaded that the gifts were not tributes [...] but warnings that, unless the Persians could fly [... &c.; ref., Her. 327-28]; the reference to Herodotus is lost on Lady Dashfort [...] Lord Colambre, however, caps Count O’Halloran’s Greek allusion with the Shakespearean exclamation, “But from no barbarous Scythian!”. The Educated and courtly count, “Scythian” because he is Irish, is nevertheless no barbarian. Resisting the idea of the Irish as virile savages, Edgeworth figures Ireland in her gentle and cultivated heroine, the patriotically named Grace Nugent.’ (Cullingford, p.225.)

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Katie Trumpener, Bardic Nationalism: The Romantic Novel and the British Empire (Princeton UP 1997): ‘[...] nationalist antiquaries read the English appropriation of bardic poetry not so much as an expression of cultural crisis as a repetition of the cultural subjugation of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, a restaging of the scene of Babylonian captivity, in which the exiled and imprisoned bards were ordered to sing for their new masters. The conquest of Ireland, argues Sylvester O’Halloran in 1771, fundamentally reshaped the English relationship to Irish history and to their own culture. As long as England had no aspirations to rule Ireland, English writers had only praise for Ireland’s artistic and learned traditions. Yet “the moment a fatal connection arose between the two people we find the tables turned, and every crime that human malice can invent, or human frailty imagine, imputed to them.” [An Introduction, p.ii]. Down to the present day, English detachment and disdain toward Ireland conceals a will to domination, motivated both by envy at the cultural vitality of the conquered and by a deep fear of England's own innate inferiority.’ (p.7.) [Cont.]

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Katie Trumpener (Bardic Nationalism, 1997) - cont.: ‘O’Halloran goes so far as to argue that although Ireland is a legally and religiously segregated society, and although the division of rights and privileges rests primarily on ethnic identification, the actual course of the Irish occupation, which saw considerable intermarriage between occupying and occupied groups, makes apparently immutable ethnic divisions no more than a legal fiction.’ (Introduction to the Study of the Histories, p.i; Trumpener, op. cit., p.300 [Intro., p.25, n.62.])

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Katie Trumpener (Bardic Nationalism, 1997) - cont.: ‘For late-eighteenth-century nationalists, the insistence on the contemporary cultural forms of educated Western Europeans as the natural telos of all societies amounts to a justification for imperialism. O’Halloran [...] traced this tactic back to the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland; to justify their military activities, he argued, the English ideologues launched an official campaign to vilify Ireland, portraying it as primitive and uncivilized. Believing in the inevitability of historical progress, Enlightenment historical narratives assign coexisting cultural forms to exemplify different moments in a “historical” hierarchy: “advanced” forms of culture serve as models for the present, and more “primitive” forms will necessarily be doomed to extinction. Nationalist historical narratives, in contrast, posit the noninevitability and undesirability of radical cultural transformation, stressing instead the organic accretion of cultural practices, institutions, and forms over many epochs. Even where external forces succeed in disrupting the coherence of a national culture, and where an imperial culture is imposed in its place, the lasting force of national memory will ensure that its victory does not endure. Thus where Enlightenment histories stress the necessary discontinuities of culture, nationalist histories stress the survival of cultural memory from one epoch to the next.’ (p.29.) [For longer extracts, see RICORSO Library, “Criticism > International Critics”, via index or direct.)

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Quotations

My native country: ‘Having a natural reverence for the dignity and antiquity of my native country, strengthened by education, and confirmed by an intimate knowledge of its history, I could not, without the greatest pain and indignation, behold on the one hand, almost all the writers of England and Scotland (and from them of other parts of Europe) representing the Irish nationa as the most brutal and savage of mankind, destitute of arts, letters and legislation; and on the other hand the extreme passiveness and insensibility of the present race of Irish: instances of inattention to their own honour, unexampled in any other civilised nation.’ (1772, p.i; quoted in Joep Leerssen, Mere Irish and Fhíor Ghael, 1986; also in Liam de Paor, ‘Tom Moore and Modern Ireland’, in Landscapes with Figures, Dublin: Four Courts 1998, p.77 - as given under Moore, Commentary, supra.)

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Fergus raises an army against Conchubar] ‘in which some or the most intrepid knights of Ireland went volunteers. In the relation of this famous invasion, yet preserved, called Tani-bho-Cuailgne, or the Spoils of Cattle at Cualgne, in the county of Lowth, we are entertained with the order of the march of the troops. They were led on by Fergus: the queen of Connaught seated in an open chariot, with her Asion, or crown of gold, on her head, followed; her retinue were placed in four chariots more, so disposed, at the sides and rear, that the dust and foam of the cavalry should not stain her royal robes [...]. But though these troops could not force the Ulster army to a general engagement, nor yet gain their end, which was the dethronement of Connor, yet they miserably wasted the country, and brought back with them an immense booty, in cattle and other rich effects, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of the Ultonians, though headed by the renowned Conall, and all the champions of Craobh-Ruadh.’ (A General History of Ireland, I, 1778, pp.178-79; quoted in Russell K. Alspach, Irish Poetry from the English Invasion to 1798, Penn. UP 1959, pp.99-100.)

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The Sons of Uisneach’: ‘The beautiful Deirdre, daughter to Feidhlim, the son of Doill, who was the first minister to the king of Ulster, was educated in the palace of Emania; and amongst the numbers of illustrious youth, companions of the Craobh-Ruadh, who attended the court, were the three sons of Uisneach, whose names were Naois, Ainle, and Ardan. We may judge of the personal accomplishments of the first of them who loved, and was beloved by Deirdre, by the strong terms in which she expressed them. Attended by her confidant on a snowy day, she beheld a butcher at a distance killing a calf, and some time after, a raven come to feed on the blood. The whole woman absorbed in love, turns to her governess; “Behold,” says she, “the whiteness of that snow, such is the skin of my hero! his cheeks are more blooming than the blood scattered round it; and his hair is smoother and blacker than the feathers of the raven that feeds on it!” Metaphors inexpressibly bold and strong! After such declaration, we may judge it did not require much importunity to prevail upon her to elope with her paramour.’ (O’Halloran, General History, pp.181-82; Alspach, op. cit., pp.100-01.)

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Battle of Gabhra (Destruction of the Fianna): ‘We have yet extant a relation of this battle, supposed to have been related by Oisin, the father of Osgur, to St. Patrick; but it were absurd to suppose that he, who was advanced in years at the battle of Gabhra, should be alive near a century and an half after [...] Yet as it preserves the names and actions of the principal heroes on both sides in this most bloody battle, it merits attention.’ (ibid, p.280; Alspach, pp.101-02.)

Colloquy of Ancients: ‘The dialogue between St. Patrick and Oisin, still preserved, in which a minute relation is given of the bloody battle of Gabhra, and of the heroes that fell on both sides is another proof of this. The author asserted that he was Oisin, the eldest son of the famous Fion Mac Cumhal; though this battle was fought A.C. 296, at which time Oisin must have been advanced in years. (General History, Vol. II, p.6; Alspach, op. cit., p.102.)

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Cuchulainn quits: ‘The affairs of his country calling him [Cuchulainn] home, he left the lady [Aoife] pregnant’ (General History, 1778; quoted in preface to ‘Conloch’, in Charlotte Brooke, Reliques of Irish Poetry, 1787, pp.7; cited in Alspach, 1959, p.113.) Further: ‘Whilst we admire the style and spirit with which this work is wrote, we are a good deal distressed at the superstition and credulity, which must then have prevailed’ (ibid., 180; Alspach, op. cit., p.100.)

National glory: ‘But where, alas, is this thirst for national glory? when a subject of such importance is permitted to a pen like mine! Why does not some son of Ajax in genius step forward, and boldly throw his gauntlet to Prejudice, the avowed and approved champion of his country’s lovely muse?’ (Quoted by Charlotte Brooke, in Reliques of Ancient Irish Poetry, 1789, p.iv; cited in Michael Cronin, ‘Digging Up the Past’, Translating Ireland: Tranlsations, Languages, Cultures, Cork UP 1996, p.99.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography also lists Sir Joseph O’Halloran (1763-1843), son of Sylvester, and CB for services in Nepalese campaigns, 1815-16; commanded Bengal infantry; knighted in England on return in 1835, and GCB 1841.

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. I; Sylvester O’Halloran, one of the founders of the Gaelic Soc., in 1806. His Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland (1772) motivated by desire to defend Irish heritage and refute Macpherson. His A General History (1778), was to be a revelation to Standish James O’Grady, and it was from the latter’s History of Ireland (187-90) that the 20th c. Renaissance drew their historical inspiration. [161]

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R. F. Foster, Modern Ireland (London: Allen Lane 1988): b. Limerick, ed. Paris and Leyden; fnd. the Infirmary, 1760; wrote Insula Sacra (1770), a plea for the preservation of Irish annals; Ierne Defended (1774), on validity of ancient Irish history, and General History of Ireland to the close of the 12th c. (1774); Hon. member R. Coll. Surg., 1786. (p.252.)

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, has references at pp.1043, 1054, 1058n, 1016n, but no extracts or bibliography; see FDA, Vol. 2, p.836, where W. J McCormack discusses the assimilation of his identity to form - with Charlotte Brooke - the character Charlotte O’Halloran in Lady M.organ’s O’Donnel (1814), as well as Maxwell’s Fortunes of Hector O’Halloran (1842), in which it still functions as ‘a touchstone of dignity’ [McCormack].

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Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast), holds Sylvester O’Halloran, An Introduction to the Study of the History and Antiquities of Ireland (London 1772).

Hyland Books (Cat. 214) lists [O’Halloran,] The History of Ireland, with [William Dolby,] [a] History of Ireland from [1171] to the present, compiled from the most approved writers by Wm. Dolby, aided by a committee of Admirers of Irish History (NY ?1850), 338pp., 480pp. [£42].

Belfast Public Library holds Antiquities of Ireland (1772); History of Ireland, 3 vols. (1819).

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Notes
Charles O’Conor: O’Conor was invited to become a corresponding member of the Select Committee (founded 1772 [precursor of RIA]) of the Dublin Society, as was Sylvester O’Halloran and Carpenter, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, under the presidency of Sir Lucius O’Brien.

Maria Edgeworth: The Anglo-Irish novelist made O’Halloran her model for the Catholic antiquarian gentleman of the same name in The Absentee (1812).

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Standish James O’Grady: O’Grady was led to interest in Irish literature by O’Halloran’s An Introduction to the Study of History and Antiquities of Ireland [FDA; but cf. O’Curry’s Manners and Customs, 1873, err. DIB]; his discovery of Irish history and literature (he chanced upon Sylvester O’Halloran’s an Introduction to the Study of History and Antiquities of Ireland) led to his lifelong enthusiasm [FDA]

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Name-sake (1): Patrick Kavanagh names a character ‘Count O’Halloran’ in “The Paddiad” (Coll. Poems, p.90ff.), being a man who attends mass weekly but cares for nothing but money.

Name-sake (2): The Rev. W. O'Halloran was author of Early Irish History and Antiquities, and the History of West Cork (1916), an overview of the history of Ireland from its earliest inhabitants to the Battle of Clontarf with descriptions of various antiquities including cromlechs, pillar stones, raths, ogham monuments, &c. and also an account of West Cork from the Battle of Kinsale to the French arrival at Bantry Bay with information on the main families of the area. See digital text at LIbraryIreland [online; accessed 20.10.2010.]

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