Charles Russell 1832-1900
A handsome bust in the foyer of our Town Hall commemorates one of Newry’s most famous sons, Charles Russell, the only ever Irish Catholic to become Lord Chief Justice of
Charles Russell was born on 10 November 1832 to Margaret (nee Mullan) and Arthur Russell of Ballybot in Newry’s west end. His was a very religious family: an uncle was president of
Charles was educated at St Malachy’s,
Russell studied law at Trinity College Dublin and
After two unsuccessful attempts he was elected Liberal M.P. for
Russell had been a youthful admirer of John Mitchel and he remained a nationalist who believed in Irish self-government. But he also came to believe in the greatness of the
But his greatest triumph was when he showed that the letters published by The Times, implicating Parnell in condoning the murder of Chief Secretary Cavendish and his under-secretary Burke by assassins in Phoenix Park, had been forged by Richard Pigott (proved by Pigott’s inability to spell ‘hesitancy’).
As Lord Chief Justice, Russell of Killowen was able and efficient but was not long enough in office to make a lasting impact.
He died in