1871 – Alexander Sullivan, barrister and last King’s Serjeant of Ireland, is born in Dublin.

Alexander Martin Sullivan better known as A M Sullivan (14 January 1871 – 9 January 1959) was an Irish Lawyer, best known as the leading counsel for the defence in the 1916 treason trial of Roger Casement.

A younger son of A M Sullivan. Born in Dublin and educated at Ushaw College, Belvedere College, Trinity College Dublin and Kings Inns. Sullivan was called to the Irish Bar in 1892 and practiced on the Munster Circuit. He was appointed an Irish KC in 1908 and King’s Third Serjeant at Law in Ireland in 1912 advancing to Second Serjeant in 1913 and First Serjeant in 1921 – the last holder of that position.

A moderate constitutional nationalist and supporter of the Irish Parliamentary Party, Sullivan was a prominent campaigner for Irish recruitment during the First World War. His opposition to Sinn Féin republicanism and his prominent role in conducting prosecutions on behalf of the Crown during the Troubles led to at least one attempt on his life. As a result, Sullivan relocated to England in 1921 and established a career at the English Bar, having been called by Middle Temple in 1899. He subsequently became a Bencher and Treasurer of Middle Temple.

Sullivan was considered one of the most formidable advocates of his generation. In addition to his legal career, Sullivan authored of two books: Old Ireland in 1927 and The Last Serjeant in 1952.

Photo: The Appeal of Roger Casement by Sir John Lavery

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