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My ancestors - O'Rahilly - Contents


Mac O'Rahilly



(Left to Right): Emmet, Mac, Aodogán, 1920s.
This is [P106/654(6)].
See full size.
See other scan.
See similar shot in [P106/1671(3)].




Mac O'Rahilly,
Richard McEllistrim O'Rahilly, born Fri 3rd July 1903,
educ Pearse's school, St.Enda's (where his cousin Dick Humphreys went),
"Richard O'Rahilly" started at St.Enda's on 20 Sept 1909 [An Macaomh, Christmas 1909, p.57], would be only age 6,
educ C.U.S., Leeson St, Dublin, there as at 1914,
educ Mount St Benedict, Gorey, Co.Wexford, there as at Jan 1919,
educ Belvedere College.

He was educ UCD. Think he was member of L&H (NOT his father). BA 1923 [NUI, 1964]. Qualified as accountant.
Then got BL and became barrister. Called to Irish Bar 1932.
He used the style "The O'Rahilly" after his father.
Listed as "The O'Rahilly", BA, barrister, living family home, 40 Herbert Park, Dublin, in [Thom's, 1935].
He mar Aug 1935 to Elgin Barry [born 13th Nov 1903].
In 1936 Elgin became Honorary Secretary to the new "Commission of Inquiry into the Treatment of Political Prisoners". It was immediately banned by De Valera's government on 10 July 1936.
They lived "Cursis Stream", Palmerstown, Co.Dublin. Listed there in [Thom's, 1939].

In World War Two, like his cousin Sighle Humphreys and other diehard republicans, Mac supported Germany against the British.
His brother Aodogán (who was anti-German in the war) said: "Mac was a great enthusiast for the Germans."
Of course, most Irish who supported Nazi Germany in the war were not interested in Hitlerism or fascism, but were interested in seeing Britain defeated and (so the theory went) a united Ireland.
Mac's brother-in-law, senior IRA man Seamus O'Donovan, worked with Nazi Germany on an IRA plan for a Nazi invasion of Northern Ireland.
Elgin's sister Monty sheltered Nazi spy Hermann Goertz at her house in Shankill, Co.Dublin, in 1940.
Mac's post-war party leader Sean MacBride also worked with the Germans. See [McMahon, 2008] and [Girvin, 2006].
Mac wrote later (in 1980): "For the want of a better word there was a group which can be called the I.R.A. ... about 1937 one part had joined forces with Germany which was quite in accord with the traditions of 1916. ... I must make it clear that there was no strong anti German feeling in Europe or indeed America at this time. I am not saying that there should have been or otherwise. My feelings as long as I can remember were mildly Pro German as indeed were most Irish and lots of English until the war started. When the stories of the German concentration camps first broke I was asked by a pro German friend .. if I believed them. I answered at once that stories of atrocities are always true."

Clann na Poblachta: Mac was a founder member of the radical Republican party Clann na Poblachta in 1946. He became party treasurer. Sean MacBride was leader.
Clann na Poblachta got into government in coalition 1948-51, with Sean MacBride as Minister for External Affairs and Noel Browne as Minister for Health. The coalition lasted to 1951.
Mac stood as a Clann na Poblachta candidate in Dublin County in May 1951 general election. He was not elected.
He stood as a Clann na Poblachta candidate in Dublin North-West in Nov 1952 by-election. He was not elected.
When Sean MacBride's mother Maud Gonne died in 1953, "The O'Rahilly" (Mac) delivered the graveside oration. He said: "Injustice was one of the things which she could not tolerate. She realised that only by freeing Ireland from English rule could the lot of the Irish people be improved."
See item in Irish Times, April 30, 1953.

"The O'Rahilly, BL" was at George Duggan's funeral 1955.
Still living "Cursis Stream", Palmerstown, in [Thom's, 1958].
Apparently it was Mac who prepared the O'Rahilly / O'Reilly family tree in 1961 with the help of his daughter Ann.
Apparently gone from "Cursis Stream" in [Thom's, 1962-63].
Had river boat, cruised Shannon and canals.
Had sailing vessel, which he took round the coast, often sailed from Dublin to Dingle to family's summer house there.
Mac died 11 Oct 1984, age 81 yrs.
See appreciation in Irish Times, 16 Oct 1984.

Elgin died Fri 10 Oct 1997, Riversdale Nursing Home, age 93 yrs,
funeral Mon 13 Oct 1997, bur Esker cemetery, Lucan.
See notice, Irish Times, 13 Oct 1997.
Mac and Elgin had issue:


  1. Michael O'Rahilly,
    mar 1stly to Bernie O'Neill,
    mar 2ndly to Frances Stearn,
    had issue by 1st wife:

    1. John O'Rahilly, mar Barbara Burke and had issue:
      1. Richard O'Rahilly.
    2. Morgan O'Rahilly.
    3. Hugh Richard O'Rahilly.
    4. Mary O'Rahilly.

  2. Ann O'Rahilly.

  3. Ruth O'Rahilly, mar Roger Sweetman and had issue:
    1. Catherine Ann Sweetman.
    2. Edmund Richard Sweetman.
    3. Malachi Kevin Sweetman.
    4. Deirdre Una Sweetman.

  4. Celie O'Rahilly, had issue:
    1. Adam O'Rahilly.




(Left to Right): Mac, Aodogán, Emmet.
In their Fianna uniforms, c.1915 (before the Rising).
See other versions.



"Your eldest boy Risteard is now The O'Rahilly."
Letter from Máire de Buitléir (of 5 Warwick Terrace) to Nancy O'Rahilly, 7 May 1916.
UCDA P106/120(5). Online here.



Elgin listed as Honorary Secretary of the "Commission of Inquiry into the Treatment of Political Prisoners".
From a report of its banning, in Irish Independent, 11 July 1936.



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