The Old Tuam Society's lecture series for the 2018-19 season resumes this February 21st and we are delighted to welcome author Jane Stanford who will be speaking about her ancestor John O’Connor Power. Jane's lecture entitled "Ireland's Napoleon" will detail Power's life as a Home Ruler, a Member for Mayo (1874-1885), a journalist and a Fenian through his prominent role in the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was considered a formidable political strategist and made himself welcome in Westminster’s corridors of power and London society. Indeed, his cunning and intellect were such that he was an inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in creating Sherlock Holmes' nemesis Professor Moriarty; a seditious Irishman with ‘hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind'.
As the Supreme Council’s ‘accredited agent’, he advised successive British governments on land legislation, local government reform and electoral policy. He harnessed the influence of the diaspora, the Irish in England and the Empire and its ex-colonies and demanded justice for Ireland. Considered one of the outstanding orators of the time, he was ranked with Gladstone and John Bright.
Aged 25, he furthered his education at St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, with his fees and expenses paid by a combination of teaching and lectures in Britain and America. In his final year he was Professor of Humanities at St. Jarlaths.
Our speaker, Jane Stanford, is author of ‘Moriarty Unmasked: Conan Doyle and an Anglo-Irish Quarrel’, (Carrowmore, 2017) and ‘That Irishman: the life and times of John O’Connor Power’, (History Press Ireland, 2011).
We hope you will join us for what promises to be a fascinating lecture on the day that marks the centenary of his death, 21st February.
8 pm, Thursday, 21 February