St George Daly

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St George Daly (1758 – December 1829) was an Irish judge, who had a reputation for ignorance.

He was a son of James Daly MP, of Carrownakelly and Dunsandle, by his second wife Catherine, daughter of Sir Ralph Gore, 4th Baronet.[1][2] He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and called to the Irish Bar in 1783.[1]

In January 1798 he was elected to the Irish House of Commons as one of the two Members of Parliament for the pocket borough of Galway. When the Irish House of Commons was abolished by the Act of Union 1800, Galway's representation was reduced to one. The other MP, George Ponsonby, resigned, leaving Daly as the sole MP.[3] He was appointed to the Irish Privy Council on 16 December 1800.[4] He was the first MP for Galway Borough in the new House of Commons of the United Kingdom but vacated his seat on 21 February 1801[1] on appointment as a Baron of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland); John Brabazon Ponsonby was elected to succeed him on 10 March.[5] On 3 November 1803 he transferred from the Court of Exchequer to the Court of King's Bench (Ireland), serving until his resignation in 1822.[6]

The reputation of the Irish Bench in the years after the Act of Union was very low- several judges, including Daly, were accused of owing their appointment to their support for Union and nothing else. It was said of Daly that he had never had a dozen briefs in his whole career, and that barristers used to mock his ignorance in open court.[7]

He lived at Eyrecourt in County Galway. In 1803 he married his cousin Louisa, daughter of Richard Gore of Sandymount, County Wicklow.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d R.G. Thorne, The House of Commons 1790-1820, Secker & Warburg 1986, vol. I, p. 565
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  6. ^ J. Haydn and H. Ockerby, The Book of Dignities, W.H. Allen & Co. 1894, p. 579
  7. ^ O'Faoláin, Sean King of the Beggars- a life of Daniel O'Connell Alan Figgis and Co. 1970 p.98
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Galway Borough
Succeeded by
John Ponsonby