O'LOGHLEN, Sir Bryan (1828-1905)

O'LOGHLEN, Sir Bryan (1828-1905)
came of an ancient Irish family and was born on 27 June 1828, the fourth son of Sir Michael O'Loghlen, a well-known Irish judge who was created a baronet in 1838. Educated at Oscott College, Birmingham, O'Loghlen first endeavoured to qualify as an engineer, but ultimately went to Trinity College, Dublin, to study law. He graduated B.A. in 1856 and in the same year was called to the Irish bar. He practised for five years in Ireland, and deciding then to go to Australia, arrived in Melbourne in January 1862. In 1863 he was made a crown prosecutor and represented the crown in a large number of criminal cases until January 1877. In May 1877 he was a candidate for the legislative assembly at North Melbourne. He was defeated and in the same year, on the death of an elder brother, succeeded to the baronetcy.
He was immediately elected to the house of commons for County Clare. In January 1878 he was a candidate at West Melbourne as a supporter of Graham Berry (q.v.), and though opposed by a leading conservative won the seat. On 27 March he was appointed attorney-general, and was the legal representative of the government during the stormy struggle between the two houses. From December 1878 to June 1879 he was acting-premier while Berry was away on his mission to England. After the election held in July 1880 Berry formed a ministry of which O'Loghlen was not a member, and in July 1881 the latter carried a vote of no-confidence against him. His ministry announced a policy of "Peace, Progress, and Prosperity". His party, however, was not strong enough to be able to carry effective legislation, and in February 1883 O'Loghlen obtained a dissolution, but lost his own seat at the election. He was out of politics for some years until in June 1888 he was elected for Belfast. In January 1893 he became attorney-general in the J. B. Patterson (q.v.) ministry, lost his seat again, but was returned for Port Fairy and represented it until 1901. In 1903 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the federal senate. He died on 31 October 1905. He married Ella Seward in 1863, who survived him with five sons and six daughters.
O'Loghlen was a man of high character who made and kept many friends. Not a great parliamentarian he took his duties seriously; he twice refused offers of a judgeship because it would have meant his leaving politics. He had the courage of his convictions in opposing federation when the general feeling in Victoria was strongly in favour of it. For many years he was an important figure in Victorian politics.
The Argus and The Age, Melbourne, 1 November 1905; H. G. Turner, A History of the Colony, of Victoria; P. S. Cleary, Australia's Debt to Irish Nation-builders; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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