O’Brien avoided party politics, but was a moderate home ruler who attributed the troubles besetting relations between Britain and Ireland to a failure to implement moderate reforms in time. After being created Baron Shandon on his removal as lord chancellor, he moved to England, where as a member of the House of Lords he was involved in various peace initiatives.
His reminiscences of and reflections on the relatively self-contained world of mid-Victorian Cork, of student and journalistic work and play in Land War Dublin, of the struggles of an aspiring barrister on circuit and of the declining years of Dublin Castle, provide new insights into Irish life in the closing decades of the union. He also gives his impressions of prominent contemporaries, including Charles Stewart Parnell, Edward Carson and Lord Chief Justice Peter O’Brien (“Peter the Packer”).
The publication, part of the Irish Legal History Society series, of this important memoir is accompanied by detailed notes and commentaries on its legal and political context by Daire Hogan and Patrick Maume.
Daire Hogan is a solicitor and former president of the Irish Legal History Society. Patrick Maume is a researcher with the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography, who has published extensively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Irish history.
The Irish Legal Society is open to all those with an interest in legal history of Ireland – membership details can be found here.
All members receive a copy of each volume as it is published and are invited to partake in all ILHS events.
To date, the society has published thirty-one volumes. A full list of the publications of the society can be found here.