Born in 1830, died in 1884; became Editor and Proprietor of the Dublin Nation, 1846; opposed the Fenian Movement; ordered to be assassinated, but the order never executed; imprisoned, 1868; elected to Parliament as a Home Ruler, 1874; reelected, 1880, but owing to ill health resigned, 1881; buried in the “O’Connell Circle” in Glasnevin Cemetery.
"I know there are honorable members round about me who will say: “We are as much opposed to this Zulu war as any man can be. We believe it to be an unjust war, but will vote for the money because the country is now engaged in the struggle.” I can quite recognize that as a ground which some members of this House may take up; far be it from me to quarrel with them; but, for myself, I say my conscience recoils from having act, hand, or part in voting a sixpence for this war. I challenge any man in or out of this House to defend it on the principles of public equity, if he will only suppose that it is Russia that is waging the war, and not England. I say no man in this House will dare to apply to such a war the principles which you apply elsewhere. If this dusky chief, spear in hand, set forth to defend his home against the Frank, the Russian, or the German, English pens would trace his record of glory, and English poets would sing his fame. We have had sympathetically dramatized for us the story of Pizarro, when men—savages perhaps, but patriots all the same—withstood the civilizing tyrant that came upon their shores. And when we stand in Pizarro’s place in South Africa to-day, is no voice to be raised in England better worthy of being heard than mine to say, as I say now, “This is an iniquitous and a wicked war; it is against all my convictions of right and wrong?” And at what an hour do we find ourselves so far gone in this onward march of aggression, this lust of territory, this greed of annexation? It is at the very moment that you have been contesting the right of a Christian power to redress Christian wrongs in the east of Europe. You call Russia an aggressive power, and treat us to homilies on the iniquity of her pushing her frontiers forward. Was ever hypocrisy so gigantic as yours? To call Russia aggressive, when you are reaching out your hands to grasp more territory in every region of the globe, by every violation of right. It is incontestable that you led the Zulu king to conclude that you favored his claims to this strip of land. But no sooner had you annexed the Transvaal than you turn round upon him in conduct which he calls, and I say, justly calls, something very like perfidy. Now that you are the rulers of the Transvaal, you say he shall not have what you notoriously led him to expect as his just and lawful right. Where slumbers the public morality of England? I look in vain in the public press of this country for that voice which ought to speak out, when we read the ultimatum—that impudent and insolent missive—of Sir Bartle Frere. I know of nothing more audacious than the document which was sent to provoke this war; yet now the land is agitated from end to end by the story of the terrible disaster at Isandlana, and money is being sought here to-night, not for defense of your South African possessions, but in order to wage a war of vengeance on Cetewayo and give up his people to sword and flame. I pay my tribute to the gallantry and heroism of those British soldiers who fell beneath their flag. They served their queen and their colors well. But while I admire them, I more admire the men, savages tho they be, who fell with their feet on their native soil defending themselves against an invader. My morality is not cribbed, cabined, and confined by geographical lines. I mete out to the savage the same measure of justice which I extend to more civilized races. Altho a man be a savage, we ought not to deny him the degree of praise which is due to his patriotism, as praise is paid to Caractacus and Kosciusko. This Zulu king stood within his own territories. He only did what Queen Elizabeth did in the case of the Spanish Armada when it threatened English soil. He called his forces around him, as she did hers, and said: “I will make the invader bite the dust.” And he did so."