Portraits en vitriol

One of the few [Irish M.P.s] who  stood out from the ruck of Irish placehunters.  Whose profound knowledge, his temper … his profound contempt for the ignorance and, as he thought, at the same time, the insanity of Parnell … made him a source of division.

… a powerful but very ugly face, the ugliness accentuated by the severe attack in childhood of smallpox.

T.P. O’Connor,  Memoirs of an Old Parliamentarian,  1928


Reeking of the common clay

Parnell’s aristocratic sensitiveness recoiled in his presence.

T.M. Healy, Letters and Leaders of My Day, 1928.


You may have often heard the question put – Who is this Mr. O’Connor Power? I often did but never could get an answer.  I am, however, now in a position to tell you that he is the bastard son of a policeman named Fleming from County Cavan.

Father Patrick Lavelle, in a letter to Isaac Butt, 1874