Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - Foley - Contents


Thomas Gaffney,
Alderman, J.P., of Limerick.
Listed as "merchant" at son Jim's mar 1901.
He had issue:

  1. Thomas St.John Gaffney,
    born 1864, Limerick,
    also just called St.John Gaffney.
    He went to America age 18 (1882). He became citizen.
    Got involved in U.S. politics. Member of Republican party. Also an Irish nationalist.
    U.S. Consul General in Germany: He was U.S. Consul General at Dresden and Munich, Germany, 1905 to 1915.
    Britain and Germany went to war in 1914. America was neutral. (It did not join the war until 1917.)

    Pro-German in WWI: Gaffney had strong pro-Irish nationalist, anti-British and pro-German views. He openly supported Germany in the war.
    In Munich in Aug 1915 he entertained Roger Casement (who was working with Germany in plans for the 1916 Rising and in raising a force, the Irish Brigade, from Irish POWs).
    Gaffney was recalled by President Wilson in Nov 1915 because of his pro-German and anti-British views, and his links to Casement.
    After losing his post he continued living in Germany, providing help to Casement.
    Casement left Germany in Apr 1916 to escort German arms to Ireland for the Rising. Gaffney was now in charge of the Irish Brigade men in Germany.
    He stayed working with the Germans right through the war, even after they went to war with America in April 1917.
    The war ended Nov 1918. He left Germany 1919. He had (unsurprisingly) problems getting back into America.
    The lawyer Michael Francis Doyle (who defended Casement) represented Gaffney in a libel case.
    He wrote on 24 Mar 1924 to James O'Mara to congratulate him on his election as a Cumann na nGaedheal TD. Though Gaffney then says he is a Republican and hates the Cosgrave government.

    Pro-Nazi in 1930s: In the 1930s he became a strong activist in favour of Nazi Germany.
    See article, "Gaffney, Propagandist Here, to Visit Berlin", Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 28 July 1933, for his pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish statements.
    He died 1945, age 81 yrs.
    See biography and memoir extracts.

  2. Jim Gaffney,
    James Stanislaus Gaffney,
    born 12 Oct 1866, Limerick city.

Thomas St.John Gaffney.
From Crescent College Review 1898.
See larger and full size.

Thomas St.John Gaffney.
Photo 1913. From The Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication.

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