Mr James O’Kelly’s name must be honourably associated with those mentioned in connection with this early and valuable labor [the New Departure]. He has always been a broad-minded thinker and worker in national movements. Narrow views or petty prejudices were never peculiar to Mr O’Kelly. He favored every kind of useful action that could advance a cause in the service of which he has given the best years of his life, and throughout his varied and romantic career he has preferred the part of silent worker to that which earns most distinction by inviting most public notice.
(Michael Davitt, The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland)