Excerpts from the speeches from the dock of the Fenian leaders Luby, and O'Leary.
Thomas Clarke Luby upon hearing his sentence of 20 years of penal servitude:
"Well my lords and gentlemen, I don't think any person present here is surprised at the verdict found against me. I have been prepared for this verdict ever since I was arrested, although I thought it my duty to fight the British government inch by inch.
. . .I know, that no man ever loved Ireland more than I have done - no man has ever given up his whole being to Ireland to the extent that I have done. From the time I came to what has been called the years of discretion, my entire thought has been devoted to Ireland. I believe the course I pursued was right; others may take a different view."
Luby continues in saying:
"I believe the majority of my countrymen this minute, if, instead of my being tried before a petty jury, who, I suppose, are bound to find according to British law - if my guilt or innocence was to be tried by the higher standard of eternal right, and the case was put to all my countrymen - I believe this moment the majority of my countrymen would pronounce that I am not a criminal, but that I have deserved well of my country. When the proceedings of this trial go forth into the world, people will say the cause of Ireland is not to be despaired of, that Ireland is not yet a lost country - that as long as there are men in any country prepared to expose themselves to every difficulty and danger, in its service, prepared to brave captivity, even death itself, if need be, that country cannot be lost. With these words, I conclude."
Next in the dock was John O'Leary. He continued to build and expand on what Luby said earlier:
"I have been found guilty of treason, or of treason-felony. Treason is a foul crime. The poet Dante consigned traitors to, I believe, the ninth circle of hell; but what kind of traitors? Traitors against king, against country, against friends and benefactors. Engliand is not my country; I have betrayed no friend, no benefactor. Sidney and Emmet were legal traitors, Jeffreys was a loyal man, and so was Norbury
. I leave the matter there."