Judge William Keogh

















































Judge William Nicholas Keogh 1817-1878

Born in Galway. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Defence Association and a strong supporter of the tenant’s rights movement. But he made a complete about turn by taking the posts of Solicitor General in 1852, Attorney General in 1855 and of judge in 1856. He tried the Fenian leaders in 1865, with all the zeal of a poacher-turned gamekeeper. His unpopularity stayed with him for the rest of his life. He committed suicide by cutting his throat. A.M. Sullivan said of him – Ireland has had enough of him. May she never see his like again. His daughter died in 1871 and a marble tablet was erected over the vault. It had the following inscription: To our beloved Jessie - her father and mother William and Kate Keogh. No trace of the tablet remains and the vault is bricked up.

Duffy's Historic Graves in Glasnevin places the grave in the old O'Connell circle. I searched many times for it but could not find it. Then I came across in the History of the Catholic Cemeteries a reference to Keogh's daughter and it gave the vault number. Surprisingly it did not later mention Keogh's death and burial but I presumed this was because of the controversy surrounding him. As Duffy is generally very reliable I decided that Keogh was buried in the family vault.

However after the publication of Dead and Buried a letter from a relative published in the Irish Times stated that he was buried in Switzerland and contrary to popular opinion had not cut his throat but died from natural causes.