James O'Mara (see here),
He was educ
Crescent College (Jesuits),
Limerick. He is in their records from 1882 (no end date recorded).
[Lavelle, 1961, p.18] thought he was educ Christian Brothers, Limerick. Not sure if this is true. He was definitely at Crescent College and Clongowes, both Jesuit.
One site thought he was educ CBS, Spanish Point, Co.Clare. But this is confusion with a story in [Lavelle, 1961, pp.17-18] of him staying with Christian Brothers on holiday in Spanish Point.
He was educ Clongowes Wood College (Jesuits). School register says he was there 1888-92. NOT 1888-91.
He went up to Clongowes with his younger brother Paddy in 1888. Letter of 28 Aug 1888 talks of bringing "the boys" to Clongowes.
He became friends with The O'Rahilly there.
Writing from Clongowes: "We go to bed every night at 8.30 and get up, it seems to me, about 3, but the fellows call it half-past 6".
knew Dr. David Humphrys
since early 1890s, when both were single in Limerick.
(His daughter would much later marry Dr. David's son.)
After school, he went to work in the family business, O'Mara's bacon factory.
He was educ Royal University of Ireland, studied for university at home after work.
1st Arts, RUI, summer 1893.
1st Eng, RUI, summer 1893, 1st class hons, 1st place in Ireland.
2nd Eng, RUI, 1st place in Ireland.
Move to London, 1893:
He worked as a bacon merchant in the thriving family business.
He was sent to London as agent for O'Mara's Bacon Company after his uncle Jim died 1893.
See the London office of O'Mara's.
He couldn't find time to continue studies after went to London. Had to postpone RUI studies for business.
Listed as "Agent", living 35 Norfolk St, Strand, London, at time of marriage. This is Norfolk Street, Holborn, which is now gone, but was between Arundel Street and Surrey Street (see map).
mar 1895 to Agnes Cashel
[born 21 Dec 1870,
of Edward III].
They lived "St.Chad's", Epsom, Surrey, after marriage 1895.
James and Agnes moved to Sydenham, SC London, in 1898.
He finally got BA, Royal University of Ireland, summer 1898.
His Private Member's Bill
a national holiday in Ireland 1903.
The Bank Holidays (Ireland) Bill was introduced by O'Mara and others in the Commons on 24 Feb 1903. See his contributions in 1903. The bill was passed by Commons 11 Mar 1903, passed by Lords 23 Mar 1903.
He made many representations on behalf of his constituents, particularly concerning evictions and the land issue.
Agnes was a pioneer supporter of the Suffragette movement when she lived in England (Women's Social and Political Union founded 1903). James - though he supported them politically - was strongly opposed to his wife actually getting involved in demonstrations.
He accompanied his brother Joseph to America. They arrived 14th May 1904 [Ellis Island]. James returned c.20th June. See [Lavelle, 1961].
He introduced The O'Rahilly to the Irish Home Rulers in London [O'Rahilly, 1991]. A letter 4th July 1904 on his return from US to London says: "I find O'Rahilly has moved to Brighton since I left".
He introduced a further Private Member's Bill to close the pubs on St. Patrick's Day. Introduced in Commons by him and others 22 Mar 1905. Supported by Sir Thomas Esmonde, 11th Baronet. But think this was not successful, since there was another such bill 1906 (see here).
He was returned again unopposed for
Kilkenny South, 20 Jan 1906, in
UK general election,
Still living 30 Maida Hill West, Maida Vale as at Apr 1906. See postcard to his 7 year old dau Pat (think from her grandfather).
The postcard says: "Will you tell your Dad I wish him every success with the St.Pat's Bill. I was sorry to see the opposition it met with." The second bill to close the pubs on St. Patrick's Day was successful 1906.
He corresponded with The O'Rahilly, now in the US and, like James, growing strongly pro-Sinn Fein.
He resigned from the Home Rule party June 1907 to join Sinn Fein. One of the first to do so. The start of the swing towards Arthur Griffith's party.
He resigned as MP (by-election to replace him held 29 July 1907). Sinn Fein was more an idea than a party at this point.
He said he had to leave Parliament: "the British were so charming, I would have been won over to them!"
See his many contributions to parliament 1901-07.
James and Agnes moved autumn 1907 to
College Rd, Dulwich, London,
lived there until 1914.
Children born and grew up London, came over to Ireland to stay with their grandparents in Limerick, and holiday in Kilkee, Co.Clare.
It was NOT him who resigned as a trustee of the Home Rule party 1908 (that was his father).
He subscribed to The O'Rahilly's efforts to revive the daily Sinn Fein newspaper 1910.
Return to Ireland, 1914:
James came back to Ireland with his family in 1914 (after more than 20 years) to run Donnelly's bacon factory, Dublin.
They moved to 15 Ely Place, Dublin. There at time of 1916 gift. Listed there in [Thom's, 1917]. The previous occupant was Oliver St.John Gogarty.
Agnes met the Dublin Suffragettes, including Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington.
James accompanied his son Steen to America when Steen was accepted at Georgetown University, DC. They arrived at Ellis Island, NY, on 22nd Nov 1915.
He acquired a summer house, "Barfield", just outside Galway, there as at 1917-19.
He funded the re-launch in early 1917 of Arthur Griffith's paper Nationality.
He became Assistant Financial Director of Sinn Fein in autumn 1917.
He moved to 43 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, lived there c.1918 to c.1925.
Sinn Fein TD, Director of Elections, Trustee of Dail funds:
James became Director of Finance for Sinn Fein 1918.
He was the 4th and last Sinn Fein Director of Elections for their stunning victory in the Dec 1918 general election (also here), all 3 of his predecessors having been successively jailed. The massive election victory made independence inevitable. His obituary says: "It was perhaps of all his work for the national cause that of which he was most proud."
He was himself elected
Sinn Fein TD for
Dec 1918 election,
with over 80 percent of the vote.
Trustee of Dail Eireann funds 1919-21: He was one of the 3 trustees of the funds of the underground government, Dail Eireann, June 1919 on, the others being Eamon de Valera and Dr. Michael Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe.
Went to US, 1919-21:
James supported the Treaty Dec 1921, but took no side in civil war (any of his family that did take a side were, however, Republican).
He tried to speak to de Valera: "Now you will want your friends around you", and de Valera waved him away and said: "Not you any way". "It was nearly 20 years before they spoke to each other again" [Lavelle, 1961].
He was appointed the first Irish Ambassador to the USA by the provisional Free State government, Feb 1922. Only served for a few months.
He was selected but declined to contest June 1922 general election.
He was appalled by the Civil War. "The disillusion of that time was soul-searing. Disillusion came quicker to Dad than to most of his fellows, because he now stood alone - an outsider - looking on at the debacle of all he had helped to build" [Lavelle, 1961].
He was close friends with Harry Boland (killed July 1922) and Michael Collins (killed Aug 1922).
He tried desperately to stop the execution without trial of his friend Liam Mellows, Dec 1922, which "left the longest and most bitter memory of all the bitter memories of the civil war" [Lavelle, 1961]. His dau Eithne said that after this he came home and tore up all his things.
Biography in [Thom's Irish Who's Who, 1923] lists him as "R.C.S." Think this means member of Royal Colonial Society.
Free State TD for Dublin South 1924-27,
In retirement in 1930s he went on cruises
with the two unmarried daughters
Maureen and Sheila,
who both found husbands on board ship.
He travelled in North and South America, North Africa, Middle East.
He sold Donnelly's to his brother Phons mid-late 1940s.
History at Cashel House says: "Jim O'Mara and his wife celebrated their Golden Jubilee" [50 yrs married] "in April 1945 in the gardens of Cashel House".
He had black hair, red moustache.
James dies, 1948:
He died 30 Eccles St, Dublin (think part of Mater Hospital), Sun 21st Nov 1948 [NOT 22nd], age 75 yrs [GROI].
See obituary, Irish Independent, November 22, 1948.
See obituary, Irish Times, November 22, 1948.
Donnelly's closed for two days, Mon 22nd and Tue 23rd, as a mark of respect.
Funeral 23 Nov, bur Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr.Paddy celebrated the mass. Those present included the former and future Taoiseach Eamon de Valera and the President Seán T. Ó Ceallaigh and Sean MacEntee and Gerald Boland and W.T. Cosgrave.
See funeral report in Irish Times, November 24, 1948.
See obituary in Limerick Leader, c.12th Dec 1948.
See other obituary.
"There was no tricolour over his coffin, no bugles sounded over his grave. No guns were fired in salute but we paid silent tribute to him for all he had done and suffered that Ireland might be free." [Lavelle, 1961].
See James O'Mara papers.
The family sold Cashel House 1952.
Agnes dies, 1958:
She died Mon 2nd June 1958, The Grove, Killiney, age 87 yrs [GROI].
See obituary, Evening Press, Tue 3rd June.
See death notice in Irish Times, June 4, 1958.
Funeral 4 June, bur Glasnevin Cemetery.
See Photos of children.
James and Agnes had issue:
AI animation of Agnes Cashel in 1905 photo.
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