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Glynn was a popular speaker who often quoted Shakespeare to illustrate his points.

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Patrick McMahon Glynn

National Library of Australia

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Patrick McMahon Glynn (1855–1931)

Federalist, lawyer

Glynn was a clever, well-educated Irish lawyer who could not get enough clients in Dublin, so he migrated to Melbourne where the same thing happened. He was finally asked to run a law business in the country town of Kapunda in South Australia. There he did well, becoming editor of the newspaper and the local member of parliament. He was a good public speaker, with his Irish accent getting heavier the more excited he became. He was a small man but a great horserider.

In politics he had a difficult time because he was a free-trader, which put him on the conservative side, but he was also a believer in a heavy tax on land, which put him on the reforming side. He was elected to the Federal Convention of 1897–98. There he fought for South Australia's right to Murray River water, was responsible for the inclusion of God in the Australian Constitution's opening words and, while sitting as a delegate, proposed and got married in a week.

He was a member of the Federal Parliament from 1901–19 serving as minister in non-Labor governments.