Tristram Kennedy and the revival of Irish legal training, 1835-1885

by Colum Kenny

published by  Irish Academic Press in association with the Irish Legal History Society, 1996.

ISBN: 0716525917

Recalling the existence of an ancient and elaborate system of breton legal education, Kenny notes that little or no training was provided for lawyers within Ireland between the Tudor destruction of Gaelic society and the Victorian era. He describes the political and professional processes which led finally to the revival of legal training in the nineteenth century and the part played in that revival by Tristram Kennedy. Kennedy, a Protestant from Londonderry, established the Carrickmacross lace industry and represented in parliament the Catholic electorate of Louth. An account of his life is included. Particular attention is paid to the Dublin Law Institute which Kennedy founded and which he ran with the active support of the great educational reformer, Thomas Wyse MP. Special chapters are also devoted to the absence of a developed, chamber system in Ireland and to the experiences of those who finally succeeded in having repealed the long-standing requirement that they eat as Daniel O’Connell is said to have put it, ‘so many legs of mutton’ at the English inns.