David Sheehy

Life
1843-1932; b. Broadford, Co. Limerick; br. Eugene Sheehy; owned milling business at Lughmore, nr. Templemore, Co. Tipperary; supported IRB and Land League; MP Galway, 1885-1900; S. Meath, 1903-08; supported John Dillon and William O’Brien in Plan of Campaign, 1886; imprisoned for 18 months; sided against Parnell in the Split, 1891; f. of Richard and Eugene; also Margaret, Hannah, Kathleen and Mary, and f.-in-law of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington who married Hannah; he is a character in James Joyce’s autobiographical novel under the name Mr. Daniel, Stephen Hero. DIH

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Notes
James Joyce’s Stephen Hero (draft version of A Portrait of the Artist [...]; pub. 1944), gives an account of the Sheehy household as ‘the Daniels’: viz., ‘a house in Donnybrook the atmosphere of which was compact of liberal patriotism and orthodox study [...] several marriagable daughters [...] In spite of the entire absence of sympathy between this circle and himself Stephen was very much at ease in it and he was as they bade him be, very much ‘at home’ as he sat on the sofa counting the lumps of horsehair [43] In this house it was the custom to call a young visitor by his Christian name a little too soon and though Stephen was spared the compliment, McCann was never spoken as anything but Phil … [44] … The Miss Daniels were not as imposing as their father and their dress was somewhat colleen. Jesus, morever, exposed his heart somewhat to obviously in the cheap print: and Stephen; thoughts were usually fascinated to a pleasant stupor by these twin futilities.’ [45].

Home Rule speech - speaking of the Home Rule Bill in Committee Stage: ‘I regret to say that we have a right to complain of the want of firmness on the part of Mr. Birrell in yielding submission to the Lords' amendments. It surprised me to see Mr. Birrell in the House yielding up what I consider, and what I know he considered, an essential part of this Bill, to give way to the House of Lords, and the Irish landlords through their representatives in the House of Lords over that great question. ... Now it is for the people to employ compulsion themselves as compulsion would not be legalised through the interference of the House of Lords.’ (Speech at Kill, 28 Nov. 1909; reported in Drogheda Independent, 4 Dec. 1909; quoted in The Home Rule Bill: Memoranda on Amendments [Union Defence League] (London: 12 Oct. 1912); available at Internet Archive - online; accessed 16.08.2014.)

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James Joyce’s Ulysses includes references: ‘Still David Sheehy beat him [John Howard Parnell ] for West Meath’ (James Joyce, Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., p.209); note also that the ‘the wife of Mr David Sheehy M. P.’ encounters Fr. Conmee on Mountjoy Sq., in “Wandering Rocks” (Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., p.280.)

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Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1959) includes an account of the Sheehy family and a note on Joyce’s reference to the family name as ‘epicene’ because (quoting Joyce) ‘made up of the feminine and masculine personal pronouns’, add that its being cognate with his own [Joyce’s] jibed with a theory he had later of himself (like Bloom) as a womanly man.’ (JJ, p.52.) See also extensive remarks on Judge Eugene Sheehy. Further: Kathleen Sheehy is held by Ellmann to be a model for Miss Ivors, the young woman who charges Gabriel Conroy with West-britonism in “The Dead” (JJ, p.257) - but this identification is a very doubtful.

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