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!! Ballina Chronicle; May 8, 1850; Wm. Keogh Bio

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Mayo, Ireland Wednesday, May 8, 1850 PARLIAMENTARY BIOGRAPHIES WM. KEOGH, ESQ., M.P. FOR ATHLONE The subject of our memoir is the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2006
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      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, May 8, 1850

      The subject of our memoir is the eldest son of Wm. Keogh, Clerk of the
      Crown, for the county and city of Kilkenny, by the only daughter of the late
      Austin Ffrench, Esq. of Galway. The family is one of the most ancient in the
      county Roscommon, and has for several generations held property in the
      neighbourhood of Athlone, where Mr. Keogh was also known as one of the most
      distinguished members of the western circuit. He was born at Galway, in
      1817; was educated at the school of the Reverend Thomas Huddart, the largest
      in Dublin at that time, and the most celebrated for the scholarship of
      pupils. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in October 1832, being then but
      fourteen years of age, and obtained, after a severe examination in classics,
      the fourth place out of 175 candidates, being the largest entrance ever
      known at the University. The next day he was awarded the Hebrew prize, and
      throughout his whole college career, was one of the most distinguished
      students of his class.
      At his first examination in 1873, he took a high position in classics;
      but, being dissatisfied with his answering in science, he resolved to master
      all difficulties in that portion of his course, and, at the following April
      and July examination he obtained the science premiums, and in October, the
      certificate, being the highest science honor of the year, for which five
      honor men of the same class were his competitors. During the subsequent
      year of his course he not only maintained his early character as a classical
      scholar, but continued to obtain first class honors. He was also, a
      successful competitor for the Vice-Chancellor's prize for the best essay in
      English;and as a member of the College Historical Society, then, as of old,
      distinguished as a school of oratory, and for the spirit of its debates, and
      excellence of its speakers, he carried off the medals both for debate and
      English competition. His contemporaries in the society were - amongst others
      who have since obtained more or less of professional distinction - Isaac
      Butt, Q.C.; W. Torrens M'Cullagh, M.P. for Dundalk; the late Thomas M'Nevin,
      author of the "Life and Speeches of Sheil," the "State of Trials in
      Ireland," the "History of the Irish Volunteers," and many other works, and
      the late Thomas Davis, whom men of all parties and ranks loved to call their
      friend- the originator of the Young Ireland party (who caught his fervor but
      let his sense die with him).
      In 1838 Mr. Keogh entered Lincoln's Inn, as a student for the Irish
      bar, to which he was called in 1849, being then just of age. In the same
      year he published the "Practice of the Court of Chancery," and which
      continues to be the text book of the court. He joined the Western Circuit,
      and at the bar, as in the college, soon distinguished himself- so much so,
      that during the last year, although but a stuff-gown, he has had by far the
      most leading business on the circuit, both on the civil and crown sides.
      Until the period of his entering parliament he had an extensive practice in
      the Rolls and Court of Chancery. He married, in 1841, Kate, eldest daughter
      of the late Thomas Rowney, an eminent surgeon; and at the general election
      of 1847 came forward as a candiate for Athlone; and for which, after a
      severe contest he was returned.
      He first spoke in Parliament upon the exclusion of Roman Catholics from
      the jury struck for the first trials of Smith O'Brien and others, for
      sedition, dwelling upon the practice as in itself unconstitutional, unjust,
      and calculated to perpetuate and increase the religious and piety
      animosities of Ireland. It was felt that he understood the subject; he was
      listened to with marked attention, and established for himself the certainty
      of being well heard on all occasions where, with knowledge of the matter in
      hand, he might choose to take part in the debate. He has since gained
      additional credit by sharp and telling replies made on the spur of the
      moment, to Mr. Roebuck's attacks on Irish members, and especially to Mr.
      John Stuart, Chancellor in expectancy, or law reform, and which the Times,
      in a leading article, commented upon, as a speech conferring infinite credit
      upon the learned member. Exempt the Hon. George Smythe, he is the only
      supporter of Sir Robert Peel, who voted with the House for extension of the
      Mr. Keogh is a free-trader, voted with the Government for the repeal of
      Navigation Laws, and against Mr. Disreli's motion. He is in favor of
      retrenchment and reduction of taxation; has spoken in support of the Irish
      Encumbered Bill and Sir John Romily's Chancery Reform, and is in favor of
      such as system of tenant right both for Ireland and England as shall ensure
      the tenant compensation for improvement without interfering with the last
      proprietary rights of the landlord. During the past week in an able reply to
      Sir John Hobhouse, he supported Mr. Sadler's motion upon the subject of the
      omission during a long period of members of the Irish bar from all
      appointment to the Indian Bench, and again afforded evidence that he has
      fully established for himself the good hearing of the House.-- Illustrated
      London News.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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