View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

27 March 2013

The Returning Officer: Galway

By Stephen Brasher

Clerical influence was notorious in Irish elections of the 19th century. In Galway in 1872, a petition was brought against John Philip Nolan by his defeated opponent William Le Poer Trench (whose grandfather was the MP between 1801 and 1812).

Nolan had written to a Father Lavelle three months before the poll to organise a conference of the local clergy, the object of which would be to “to determine how far the clergy should go in asking tenants to vote against their landlords”. In summing up, Justice Keogh (who had been MP for Athlone) said it was clear that: “The archbishop . . . and greater part of the parish priests . . . strained every point . . . [and] moved every engine . . . to overthrow all free will and civil liberty in this portion of Ireland.” Nolan was disqualified but won the seat in 1874 and sat as an MP, on and off, until 1906.

Content from our partners
Labour's health reforms can put patients first
Data science can help developers design future-proof infrastructure
How to tackle the UK's plastic pollution problem – with Coca-Cola

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.