1865-1945; grandson of William Smith O’Brien, b. Mount Trenchard, Foynes,
Co. Limerick; ed. Harrow, TCD, and Cambridge; studied painting at Antwerp,
Paris, and London; exhibited RHA 1901-04; MRHA 1907; president RHA 1910-45;
President United Arts Club; regarded as official portrait painter of Ireland,
portraits incl. George Bermingham and Conal O’Riordan; wintered in S.
France; sold family home of Cahirmoyle and settled in Dublin; d. Fitzwilliam
Sq., 3 Oct. 1945. DIB
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Patricia Boylan, All Cultivated People: A History of the United Arts
Club (1988), apprehensive in the period of the Land Acts about the
future of ‘our class’; wrote to his wife: I am getting uneasy about the political
situation in Ireland ... whichever side comes in, it will likely be only
by a small majority governed by the Irish vote and I would not put it
past the Unionists to give Home Rule rather than lose office [...; this] would
almost certainly mean compulsory purchase at a low figure and 15 years
purchase instead of 18 would mean giving up living at Cahirmoyle [...] If
there is Home Rule it is all the more essential that a leaven of our class
should be left in the country.’ (?Some I Knew Well) . Offered
honorary membership and a dinner at Arts Club, while living at Yeovil,
Zion Road, Rathgar, in ?1947 . See photograph of the library at Cahirmoyle among ills. [pls.], ibid, and further references (passim); see also under Lennox Robinson, infra.
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Niagerously: The seat on which Kavanagh wrote his Lines Written on a Seat on the
Grand Canal, Dublin, was ‘erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien.