Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - O'Mara - Contents

Dr. Frank O'Mara

Dr. Frank O'Mara, bapt 18th Sept 1862, Limerick.
He might be "F. O'Mara" who was educ Crescent College, Limerick, 1877-78.
He was a doctor.
He was educ Apothecaries' Hall, Dublin.
At this time Apothecaries' Hall was at 40 Mary St (near Capel St), Dublin.
Apothecaries' Hall is now at 95 Merrion Square (at Clare St).
He must be Francis O'Mara, present at birth of his sister Margaret Judge's child in Dublin, Feb 1882. His address given as his sister's address, Howth Rd, Clontarf. He must have lived with them while doing his studies in Dublin.
It was remembered that Frank was up in Dublin the day of the Phoenix Park murders 6 May 1882.
As a medical student, he got into some kind of trouble (possibly with a girl), and sailed to Australia. Worked there as a medical assistant.
Came back after 1 year, "came home unscathed by his adventures", qualified.

He was MD, LAH (Licentiate of Apothecaries Hall), LRCPI, LRCSI.
He registered his brother-in-law Tom Ray's death 1892. He was then living 12 Cecil St, Limerick.
He worked as assistant in Limerick mental hospital.
Listed as Assistant Medical Officer, Limerick County Lunatic Asylum, Limerick, in [Thoms, 1893].
Very lively youth, was remembered for years afterwards. Finally settled down and married.
Listed as living Limerick at mar.

He mar [think 14] Nov 1894 to Mary Plunkett [Cis, born Co.Dublin, 1867, dau of James Plunkett, merchant].
Her family was meant to be of Co.Meath, though she was born Co.Dublin.
She is listed as living 3 Le Bas Terrace, Rathmines, Co.Dublin, at mar.
Her brother was Alderman Ambrose Plunkett, solicitor in Dublin. He sp bapt of Dorothy 1898. Think he left Mary a lot of money.
Frank and Mary mar at Church of Our Lady of Refuge, Rathmines, Co.Dublin [GROI].

"F. O'Mara M.D." is on organising committee of Grand Ball to celebrate 700 years of Limerick, 28 Dec 1897.
Frank was living Limerick District Asylum when Dorothy born 1898. He is listed as Assistant Medical Officer, Limerick District Asylum.
Older children born Limerick.
Moved to Ennis, Co.Clare, 1898-99. Younger children born Co.Clare.

Head of Ennis Asylum, at least 1899 to 1935:
He was head of the District Lunatic Asylum, Ennis, Co.Clare (founded 1868, later Our Lady's Hospital, Ennis, closed 2002, see history).
He was RMS (Regional Medical Superintendent), head doctor, and also ran the place.
They actually lived in the Asylum. Living quarters were in middle of the building. Apartment just inside hall door on LHS. They also had a large domestic staff - composed of the more competent inmates. Asylum had its own garden/farm. Lot of food grown there.
Dr. Harry Counihan (junior) says he hadn't large salary, but they "lived like Dukes".
Frank registered his father's death 1899. He is listed as living at Ennis Asylum [GROI].
Though probate of his father's will granted to "Frank O'Mara of Mulgrave St, Limerick, MD" 1899 [NAI].
He was living at Ennis Asylum when twins born there 1900, he is "Resident Medical Superintendant".
They are listed at Ennis Asylum in [Census, 31 Mar 1901]. He is "Resident Medical Superintendant-Physician-Surgeon". Her widowed mother living (or at least staying) with them. Thomas Ray also with them. They have 3 domestic servants.
He was at funeral of Dr. David Humphreys in 1903.
[PAT/1, p.11 and p.12] says that once in their living quarters at the Asylum: "The nurse in charge of the children was feeding the baby its bottle when she observed with horror a maniacal lunatic under the bed with a knife in her hand. The silly girl flung the baby on the bed and ran out shrieking to find Aunt Cis, and it was she who walked back to the bedroom and picked up her baby as if nothing had disturbed her and quietly turned the key in the door as she went out".
Letter of July 1908 from Patricia O'Mara on holiday in Kilkee, Co.Clare, says: "The Ennis cousins came down today. The twins came a couple of days ago."
They were living at Ennis Asylum when dau married in 1915. He is "Resident Medical Superintendant".

Their family was very Establishment. They were Catholic, would have voted Home Rule, but had no time for militant Nationalists. Their daus married members of British Army in Ireland.
[PAT/1, p.12] says: "Politically, Dad" [James O'Mara, Frank's nephew] "and he were as the poles apart. Uncle Frank's outlook was frankly a West Briton one".
Living at Ennis Asylum when dau mar 1922. He is "Resident Medical Superintendant".
Mary fl 1926, died many years before he did.
He is listed as Resident Medical Superintendant, Clare Mental Hospital, Ennis, in [Thom's, 1929] and [Thom's, 1935].
He was oldest RMO (Regional Medical Officer) in Ireland when retired 1930s.

When retired, he built house in Ennis, called it "Toomyvara".
Despite their political differences he was good friends with his nephew James O'Mara. In old age he used go fishing in Connemara during summer with James.
He died 1949, age 87 yrs.
Though [PAT/1, p.12] says he died before James (before 1948).
Frank and Mary had issue:

  1. Molly O'Mara,
    Mary, Mary Catherine, Mollie, born Co.Limerick, mid-late 1896,
    bapt not found in [St.John's, Limerick],
    living Ennis, Co.Clare, at mar,
    The Irish Times, 21 July 1915, says the marriage is due on 22 Sept, but [GROI] says it happened on 21 Sept,
    mar 21 Sept 1915 [her age 19 yrs], RC chapel, Ennis Asylum [GROI] to Dr. Harry Counihan and had issue.

  2. Norah O'Mara,
    NOT Nora,
    born Co.Limerick, bapt Hanorah, 17 July 1897 [St.John's, Limerick],
    living with family at Ennis Mental Hospital at mar,
    mar 11 Oct 1922, RC chapel, Ennis Mental Hospital [GROI]
    to Frederick West [Frederick Charles West. he was called "Billy", English, born 1898, son of Charles West, civil servant],
    he is listed at mar as "Lieutenant", living London,
    he was an English member of British Army in Ireland, during the Troubles, while she had many relations active in Sinn Fein and IRA,
    they got mar after Independence, during Civil War,
    he stayed in Army,
    she travelled with her husband throughout his army career,
    she lived in Army HQ in England until death,
    she died c.1984, age c.87 yrs, think in Bromley, London,
    had issue:
    1. Robin West, mar and had issue.
    2. Jill West, mar and had issue.

  3. Dorothy O'Mara,
    Dorothy Susan O'Mara, born 18 Aug 1898, Limerick District Asylum [GROI],
    she is "Susan O'Mara", dau of Frank, who was bapt 22 Aug 1898 [St.John's, Limerick],
    mar Harold Manson [Scottish],
    he was a Scottish member of British Army in Ireland, during the Troubles, while she had many relations active in Sinn Fein and IRA,
    he left Army,
    was civilian rubber planter in Malay peninsula when Japanese invaded 1941-42,
    wife and children evacuated to Australia, but he was imprisoned by Axis Japan for years,
    not freed until end of war 1945, survived, but never got his health back,
    joined family in Australia,
    he died Australia, c.1955-57,
    she died c.1987/88, age c.89/90 yrs,
    had issue:
    1. Jean Manson, mar and had issue.
    2. Sheila Manson, mar --- Thompson and had issue.

  4. Jim O'Mara,
    James Plunkett O'Mara, James, twin (he was born first),
    born 5 Jan 1900, The Asylum, Ennis, Co.Clare [GROI],
    didn't marry,
    think fl 1926,
    mentally retarded, lived to adulthood, died in institution.

  5. Frank O'Mara,
    Francis Gerard O'Mara, twin,
    born 5 Jan 1900, The Asylum, Ennis, Co.Clare [GROI],
    didn't marry,
    think fl 1926,
    he must be "Frank O'Mara junior" at Joseph O'Mara's funeral 1927,
    think he is "Frank O'Mara" at Lad Ray's funeral 1931.

  6. Nan O'Mara,
    didn't marry,
    she and her sister would be "Misses Joan and Ann O'Mara" at funeral of Joe O'Mara who died 1950.

  7. Joan O'Mara, born c.1910.
    Motor accident, 1935: In Aug 1935 when driving she tragically knocked down and killed a 2 year old boy, Peter Sullivan, outside his parents' house "at the Shanaray" near Ennis. Think this is Shanvogh, Shanaway Road, W side of Ennis (see modern map).
    The accident was apparently Fri 9 Aug 1935. Inquest in Ennis, apparently Sat 10 Aug 1935.
    See report on p.9 of Connacht Tribune, Saturday, August 17, 1935.

    Joan didn't marry.
    She inherited the house "Toomyvara" in Ennis.
    She lived 44 Fairfield Park, Greystones, Co.Wicklow.
    She died c.1987/88, age c.77/78 yrs.

Wedding of Norah O'Mara and (British Army officer) Frederick West, Oct 1922 (during the Civil War).
See full size.
Courtesy of the widow of Robin West.

"F. O'Mara" (back).
From photo of the employees of O'Mara's Limerick factory in 1939.
See larger and full size.
Wonder if this is Frank O'Mara (junior) above.

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