Man in the Courthouse!
This blog note links the era of the French Revolution, with modern Australia.
Michael O’Loghlen was born in 1789 near Ennis, County Clare. He was son of Colman O’Loghlen and Susanna Finucane. He went on to attend Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied classics with a view to a career as a barrister.
His law career coincided with that of Daniel OConnell.
OConnell was completely confident, when he knew Michael was taking one of his many legal cases. OConnell having achieved religious emancipation, was gaining political momentum during the 1830’s and Michael became linked to his meteoric rise, with Dan becoming known in some circles as The King of the Beggars, which also became the title of a book on OConnell by the late Seán ÓFaoláin.
Michael was the first Catholic since the 1600s appointed as a Judge, whether in England or Ireland. He became Master of the Rolls in 1837, which signalled the dramatic rise of Irish Catholicism, during that decade from 1829.
Moving on from the 1830’s to the present time; Margaret Bayles and her daughter, Mary Jane, two Australian descendants of Sir Michael are visiting their ancestral County of Clare and County Galway during April 2018. Their family also have links to Thoor Ballilee, outside of the town of Gort, south Galway.
To many school children growing up in county Clare, Sir Michael became known as – The Man in The Courthouse, since Michael’s statue was installed at the entrance to Ennis Courthouse!