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Darby Moran

Irish Humour Home






O'Connell in his celebrated speech in defence of the Rev. T. Maguire,
relates the following story, in which the reader will not fail to
perceive the little chance which perjury had in escaping his
detection:--

Allow me, said he, addressing the Court, to tell you a story, which
is not the worse for being perfectly true. I was assessor of the Sheriff
at an election in the county of Clare; a freeholder came to vote under
the name of Darby Moran, and as Darby Moran both his signature and mark
were attached to the certificate of Registry. He, of course, was
objected to. It was insisted that if he was illiterate, he could not
have written his name--if literate, he should not have added his mark;
in either view it was contended, with the vehemence suited to such
occasions, that his registry was bad. It is, wherever I have authority
to adjudicate, a rule with me to decide as few abstract propositions as
I possibly can. I therefore resolved first to ascertain the fact whether
Darby Moran could write or not. I accordingly gave him paper, and asked
him could he write his name. He flippantly answered that he could, and
in my presence instantly wrote down 'John O'Brien'--he totally forgot
that he was playing Darby Moran. Thus this trick was exposed and
defeated.





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