Ponderous Saxon (Freeman’s Journal, 1904)

1.51. The Freeman’s Journal, (Dublin), Friday, 15 April, 1904, 4.

Use of the phrase ‘ponderous Saxon mind’ in The Freeman’s Journal.

The following comment from The Freeman’s Journal’s daily ‘By The Way’ column relates to a dispute running from June in the previous year, between the Irish Justice of the Peace Mr M’Donagh Mahony (Mac Donnchadha Ua Mathghamnha) and Dublin Castle (and beyond) over the right of the former to sign his name in Irish on official legal documents. Matters had been brought to a head by the publication of the correspondence between the two parties on the front page of The United Irishman on April the 9th, 1904.

The thing that strikes the ponderous Saxon mind as funny in connection with the correspondence between the Lord Chancellor and Mr. M‘Donagh Mahony, says the “Daily News,” “is that the Government having decided that Mr. Mahony’s use of the Irish language and character was totally illegal, gives in this paper a long letter of Mr. Mahony’s to the Lord Chancellor’s Office, and subjoins an Irish copy of the letter, printed from a very attractive fount [sic] of Irish type. English newspaper offices being unprepared for such an emergency, we cannot give a specimen of the letter; but readers may take it from us that it looks fine. The Irish signatures are given at the foot of all Mr. Mahony’s letters.

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