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Educated at TCD and the Middle Temple London. In 1791 founded the Society of the United Irishmen with Thomas Russell and Napper Tandy. Was exiled to America in 1794 but returned to join forces with the French in 1796. When news of the 1798 rebellion broke, Tone and three thousand men landed at Lough Swilly from France. They were defeated and Tone was tried by court–martial in Dublin. He died on 19 November 1798.
Known as “The Liberator” and widely regarded as the greatest Irish leader. Led the campaign to win equal rights for Roman Catholics which culminated in the United Kingdom conceding Catholic Emancipation in 1829. Thereafter a member of parliament. Admitted Barrister–at–Law, King’s Inns, 1798. As a Catholic he could not be promoted at the bar to the rank of King’s Counsel. His appearance at criminal cases won the approval and devotion of the masses. His earliest sobriquet was “ The Counsellor”. One of his descendents, Professor Maurice R. O’Connell of Fordham University, has written that, “It was his skill as a lawyer which made him widely known and prepared the ground for his rise to political leadership”.
Thomas Langlois Lefroy was the eldest son of Anthony Lefroy of Newtown Perry, Co. Limerick and later of Carrigglas, Co. Longford. The Lefroy were descendants of a Flemish Protestant family. Thomas Lefroy was Chief Justice of Ireland between 1852 and 1866.
During his early twenties Lefroy was very attached to Jane Austen whom he met at the home of his aunt ‘Madame Lefroy’. Austen described her ‘flirtation with Tom’ in letters to her sister Cassandra in 1796. He had, it appears, contemplated marriage but was dissuaded by his aunt and uncle who thought him too young and too poor to think of marriage.
Member of Parliament. Leader of the Unionist Party, 1910. Appointed to the UK war cabinet, 1917, but resigned in protest when Prime Minister Lloyd George drafted legislation to give all Ireland Home Rule or limited independence. Was one of those who fought successfully to keep part of Ulster within Great Britain after 1921. Admitted barrister–at–law, King’s Inns, 1889. Attained the unique distinction of having been successively Solicitor General of Ireland (1892) and of England (1900–06). Appointed Attorney–General, 1915, Lord of Appeal, 1921–29. A powerful, conscientious and fearless advocate who is said to have been “distinguished by a moral grandeur and a charming personality”.
Writer, revolutionary and educationist. From his youth he was deeply committed to Irish language and literature. Joined the Gaelic League in 1895 and subsequently became the editor of its paper, An Claidheamh Soluis. He founded a bilingual school, St. Enda’s, in Ranelagh in 1908. The school was so successful that two years later it moved to Grange Road, Rathfarnham. In 1915 he joined the IRB and was elected to the Provisional Committee of the newly formed Irish Volunteers. In the 1916 Rising he was commander–in–chief of the forces of the Irish Republic. In the aftermath of the rising he was court–martialled and condemned to death.
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