Denis Caulfield Heron

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Denis Caulfield Heron

Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Newry, Newry and Mourne, UK
Death: April 15, 1881 (57)
Lough Corrib,Galway ,Ireland
Place of Burial: Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of William Heron and Mary Heron
Husband of Emily Heron
Brother of George Caulfield Heron and William Caufield Heron

Occupation: Lawyer and politician
Managed by: Terry Teford Cooper
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Denis Caulfield Heron

Lawyer and politician.

Denis Caulfield Heron

Denis Caulfield Heron LL.D QC (1824 – 15 April 1881)was an Irish lawyer and Catholic Liberal MP for Tipperary.

Born in Dublin, he was educated at Downside Abbey, Stratton-on-the-Fosse

In December 1845 Heron was the subject of a hearing at Trinity College, Dublin. Heron had previously been examined and, on merit, declared a scholar of the college but had not been allowed to take up his place due to his religion. Heron appealed to the Courts which issued a writ of mandamus requiring the case to be adjudicated by the Archbishop of Dublin and the Primate of Ireland. The decision of Richard Whately and John George Beresford was that Heron would remain excluded from Scholarship.

In 1848 he received his law doctorate . By 1852 Heron was professor of jurisprudence and political economy at Queen's College, Galway. In July 1860 he was appointed Queen's Counsel.

In the 1869 by-election for Tipperary constituency, Heron was defeated by 1054 to 898 votes by the incumbent, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa. However the election was declared invalid because Rossa was an imprisoned felon and, in the second election, Heron defeated the Fenian candidate and was returned to the Commons. He held until 1874.


Quite a sensation was caused by the premature death on April 15th, 1881, of Denis Caulfield Heron, Q.C., LL.D., Sergeant-at-Law, M.P. for Tipperary. He was a skilful pleader, a brilliant orator, a trusted friend. When standing in the waters of Lough Corrib, after having landed two salmon, and while playing a third, the rod fell from his hand; death promptly followed. His coif he had worn only for three months. Heron had been a member of the Board of Glasnevin Cemetery; and a more than passing reference is due to him - apart from the fact that he had long held a distinguished place in public and professional life. In 1845 he passed an examination for a Scholarship in the University of Dublin; but being a Catholic was denied the privilege. His next move was an application for a mandamus against the Board of Trinity College to compel them to yield; but the action failed. However, it bore fruit, for after some time the law was altered, and Catholics can now be Fellows as well as Scholars. Heron became Professor of Law in Queen's College, Galway, and besides his "History of Jurisprudence," was the author of several political and economical works. One of his first promotions at the Bar was to the Law Advisership of Dublin Castle. He married the sister of Lord Fitzgerald, but she predeceased him, and left no children. She was returning to her home when she breathed her last on board the mail boat, in sight of the Irish shore. His epitaph on this lady is one in Latin. The monument is found in the South Section: "In memoriam Emiliae D. C. Heron, dilectissimae conjugis morbum saevum pectoris per longos annos humiliter ac pia fortitudine patiebatur. Rediens ex Helvetia ubi sanitatem frustra quaerebat in navi 'Munster' carae patriae Hiberniae in conspectu subito mortua est XXX. Aug., MDCCCLXIII. Nunquam erat in terris anima magis pura."

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Denis Caulfield Heron's Timeline

February 16, 1824
Newry, Newry and Mourne, UK
March 4, 1824
April 15, 1881
Age 57
Lough Corrib,Galway ,Ireland
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland