Darby Moran

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


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
o 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