Eoin O’Mahony


Life
1904-1970 [‘The Pope O’Mahony’; var. O’Mahoney]; b. Cork, ed. Presentation College, Cork, Clongowes Wood, UCC, TCD, and King’s Inns, medallist and auditor Law Students’ Debating Soc.; barrister on Munster Circuit; Knight of Malta; active in Fianna Fail in 1930s; raised funds to save Lwr. Fitzwilliam St. houses in Canada and US; presented Meet the Clans on Radio Éireann, 150s & 1960s;
 
founded gathering of O’Mahony clan; Catholic Organisation in Holland; failed to secure nomination in 1966 Presidential election; bestknown for his Radio Eireann programme, Meet the Clans; visiting Prof. at S. Ilinois Univ., 1966-68; annotated that University’s Irish collection; his nickname ‘the Pope’, arose from an ambition expressed in Clongowes; he wrote The Pathology of Democracy (1929); Catholic Organisation in Holland, and other works of prose and verse. DIB DIH

Works
The Pathology of Democracy (Dublin [1929], 17pp. [pamphl.]

Note: shares title with Jacques-Alain Miller, ed., The Pathology of Democracy: A Letter to Bernard Accoyer and to Enlightened Opinion / with contributions by Bernard Burgoyne and Russell Grigg, trans. by Adrian Price and Victoria Woollard [Ex-tensions] London: Karnac 2005), vii, 72pp.

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Commentary
John Ryan, ‘The Lost Umbilical: Eoin O’Mahony 1905-1970’ [appears to be printed as 1920], in The Dublin Magazine (Autumn 1971), pp.96-109: ‘No other mortal brain could house the formidable assemblage of genealogical data that his did so that although his chronicles would knock miles off a journey or keep company agog until the small hours, it was impossible to retail a thousandth part of all the priceless information, while the pawky wit (which ever kept tedium at bay) and the endless revelation of yet more family skeletons, rendered them, though unsuitable at the time for the printed page or the broadcast voice, cherished memories, which, alas, our too fallible memories could not, in most cases, retain.’ (p.98.)

John Ryan, ‘[...] Eoin O’Mahony’ (Dublin Magazine, Autumn 1971) - cont.: Ryan reproduces a typical tour de force, delivered on a train in passing the Rathmoggerly Castle, home of the Plunkington-Forshaws, ending: ‘Despite the learned counsel’s plea, for the defence when it was argued that the dog had not only willingly accepted his master’s amours but warmly returned them, Lord chief Justice Pallees was moved to give his celebrated ruling that ha since become enshrined in the constitution of many lands—In the case of bestiality, mutual consent is not a good defence ...’ (p.101.)

O’Mahony figures in Brendan Lynch, Prodigals of Genis: The Writers and Artists of Dublin’s Baggotonia (Dublin: Liffey Press 2011), 308pp.

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Notes
Hopelessly confused: Peter Costello writes of Richard Ellmann’s account of the history of Rev. Charles O’Connell, an grand-uncle of James Joyce: ‘Professor Ellmann's account of these (and other) matters is hopelessly confused. The priest he identified was in fact a Cornelius O’Connell, born in Co. Cork and no relation of these O’Connells [viz., the family of Ellen]. Here it is clear that by relying on information from the notorious Eoin O’Mahony and a source who preferred to remain anonymous he was led astray, perhaps deliberately.’ (See James Joyce, The Years of Growth, 1992, p.40, n.)

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