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Sir Michael O'Loghlen
(1789 – 1842)

Sir Michael O’Loghlen was a distinguished Irish judge and the first Catholic to occupy a seat on the Bench since 1688. He was born in October 1789 in Port, Ruan, Co. Clare, the third son of Colman O’Loghlen and his second wife, Susannah Finucane. The O’Loghlens were descended from the princes of Corcomroe, in the Burren. Michael O’Loghlen was educated in Trinity College, Dublin and was called to the Irish Bar in 1811. In 1817 he married Bidelia Kelly from Dublin. They had four sons, Colman, Hugh, Bryan and Michael and four daughters, Maria, Susan, Bidelia and Lucy.

In 1815 Sir Michael was junior counsel to Daniel O’Connell and had to defend a case in the Court of Chancery when O’Connell was absent following a duel with D’Esterre. O’Loghlen successfully defended the case and received warm congratulations from O’Connell. He insisted that O’Loghlens name be endorsed on the back of every brief sent to O’Connell as senior counsel. In 1834 he became Solicitor General of Ireland and was elected MP for the borough of Dungarvan. He brought in the O’Loghlen Act for the Suppression of Drunkenness, which cleared the way for Fr. Mathew’s temperance movement. In 1835 became Attorney General and was elevated to the Irish Bench as Baron of the Exchequer in 1836. He relinquished this office the following year on being appointed Master of the Rolls. In July 1838 he was created a baronet. He is credited with several legal improvements, including a consolidation of the Grand Jury Laws.

Sheil’s Sketches, Legal and Political give the following description of Sir Michael O’Loghlen; His head is large…his large eyes of deep blue, although not enlightened by the flashings of constitutional vivacity, carry a more professional expression, and bespeak caution, sagacity, and shyness, while his mouth exhibits a steadfast kindliness of nature and tranquillity of temper mixed with some love of ridicule.

Sir Michael died on 28th September, 1842 in London. He is buried in the family vault at the old graveyard in Ruan. His mausoleum is an impressive Egyptian Revival tomb. A statue of Sir Michael O’Loghlen can be seen at the Ennis Courthouse. The inscription reads; This statue of the Right Honourable Sir Michael O’Loghlen, Bart., Master of the Rolls, was erected in this his native county by his friends and admirers, as a tribute to his memory, and as a mark to future ages of their due appreciation of his public talents and private worth.

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O'Loghlen Mausoleum, Ruan
O'Loghlen Mausoleum, Ruan










O'Loghlen Statue
O'Loghlen Statue