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R.I.P? – 1878

The Connaught Telegraph 5th October, 1878 p.3 (abridged)

Photo: Norma Scheibe

Photo: Norma Scheibe

After a life of consummate villainy, crowned by the most awful calamity which can afflict a human intellect, Judge K passed to his great account at Bingen on Monday last. The friends of the deceased have informed the public that his last moments were clear and lucid, and that, on the dim threshold of eternity, he accepted with humble penitence the consolations of that religion which he had spurned and blasphemed during his life. God grant it may have been so! Human hatred ceases on the borderland between life and death, and K’s deadliest enemy will not regret if the closing scene of his existence was really as full of hope as it has been described.

K was probably the most corrupt politician that Ireland every produced. Other men have perjured themselves perhaps as deeply, but none ever brazened out their perjuries with the same unblushing front. Of a bad lot he was pre-eminently the worst. With such men as S and O’F. to dispute with him the laurels of iniquity, he came forth victorious from the ignominious struggle and raised himself to a special pedestal of infamy.

O’F. had a weakness for the Treasury Bench which he extended subsequently to the Treasury bonds, but he was after all but a vulgar type of political swindler. S. was a knave and a clever one; well up in the manipulation of bank stock, and an expert at the forging of title deeds. But even he had something human about him; and when he found that all his plans were defeated, and that the Bank was on the verge of ruin, he had not the courage to face the public obloquy in store for him.

K. was essentially the Lucifer of the Triumvirate. The gibbering fantasies of such a man are not, however, a pleasant theme for the pen of the journalist. He has gone to find out the Great Hereafter, and he has left behind him a name which will be long remembered as the very incarnation of audacious falsehood.

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