Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/O'Hagan, John

O'HAGAN, JOHN (1822–1890), judge, second son of John Arthur O'Hagan of Newry, co. Down, born at Newry on 19 March 1822, graduated B.A. at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1842, and proceeded M.A. in 1860. He was called to the Irish bar in 1842, and went the Munster circuit. An active member of the Young Ireland party, he was one of the counsel for Sir Charles Gavan Duffy on his trial for complicity in the rebellion of 1848. He also contributed to the 'Nation,' both in prose and verse, his poems being distinguished by the pseudonyms or initials Sliabh Cuilluim, Carolina Wilhelmina, O., or J. O'H. They are collected in 'The Spirit of the Nation,' Dublin, 1874, 8vo.

O'Hagan was appointed commissioner of the board of national education in 1861, took silk in 1860, and was admitted a bencher of King's Inn in 1878. On the passing of the Land Law (Ireland) Act of 1881 he was appointed judicial commissioner thereunder, with the rank of justice of the high court of justice, having previously qualified for the office by being made her majesty's third Serjeant (31 May). He died on 12 Nov. 1890.

O'Hagan was a good scholar and a competent lawyer, and was equally respected for his integrity and admired for his chivalrous character. He married in 1865 Frances, daughter of Thomas O'Hagan [q. v.], lord chancellor of Ireland.

O'Hagan's patriotic songs are held in much esteem by his countrymen of the Nationalist party. Besides them he published a lecture on Chaucer in 'Afternoon Lectures on Literature and Art,' London, 1864, 8vo; 'The Song of Roland,' a metrical version of the 'Chanson de Roland,' London, 1883,; 'The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson,' a critical essay, Dublin, 1887, 8vo; and 'Irish Patriotism: Thomas Davis,' in the 'Contemporary Review,' October 1890. 'Joan of Arc' (an historical study originally contributed to the 'Atlantis' in 1808) appeared in a posthumous volume, London, 1893, 8vo.

[O'Donoghue's Poets of Ireland; Irish Law Times, 15 Nov. 1890; Sir Charles Gavan Duff's Young Ireland. 1840-50, pp. 293, 565, 763, and Four Years of Irish History, pp. 582, 739; Ann. Reg. 1844, Chron. p. 304; Thom's Irish Almanac; Haydn's Book of Dignities, ed. Ockerby; Cal. Dubl. Grad.]

J. M. R.