James O'Mara (see here),
educ at Christian Brothers, Limerick
[Lavelle, 1961, p.18].
This is confirmed by
letter of 1910.
politics.ie 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 Crescent College (Jesuits), Limerick. He is in their records from 1882 (no end date recorded).
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".
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 in late 1893 as agent for O'Mara's Bacon Company after his uncle Jim died in July 1893.
James writes on 2 Nov 1893 from the London office of O'Mara's.
He writes on 2 Mar 1894 from London and mentions "Humphries". Think this is his friend Dr. David Humphrys. Both of them single at this point. Dr. David is also apparently mentioned in O'Mara family letter of 11 Oct 1893.
He couldn't find time to continue studies after went to London. Had to postpone RUI studies for business. He writes on 6 June 1894 from London and says: "I have given up studying."
Listed as "Agent", living 35 Norfolk St, Strand, London, at time of marriage 1895. This is Norfolk Street, Holborn, which is now gone, but was between Arundel Street and Surrey Street (see map).
mar 23 Apr 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. There by letter of 11 Feb 1898.
He finally got BA, Royal University of Ireland, summer 1898.
Making St.Patrick's Day a national holiday (1903):
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".
Closing the pubs on St.Patrick's Day (failed attempt, 1905-06):
James was returned again unopposed for
Kilkenny South, 20 Jan 1906, in
UK general election, Jan-Feb 1906.
He was 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."
He was still living 30 Maida Hill West, Maida Vale as at postcard of June 1907.
James 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 1924-1927.
Closing the pubs on St.Patrick's Day (1924): The Free State finally closed the pubs on St. Patrick's Day in 1924, but James O'Mara was apparently not involved. The bill was introduced on 30 May 1924 by Kevin O'Higgins. James O'Mara is not involved and does not speak. It is a government bill, not his bill. O'Higgins says: "At present St. Patrick's Day is the same as an ordinary week day", which confirms that O'Mara's bill of 1906 did not pass. See further debates. The bill passed. See the Intoxicating Liquor (General) Act, 1924.
James moved to
The Grove, Killiney,
In retirement in 1930s, James and Agnes went on cruises
with the two unmarried daughters
Maureen and Sheila,
who both found husbands on board ship.
See cruises to West Indies in
1934 and 1935.
They travelled in North and South America, North Africa, Middle East.
James sold Donnelly's to his brother Phons in mid-late 1940s.
They celebrated their Golden Jubilee [50 yrs married] in April 1945 at Cashel House. [P150] has an invite to De Valera. So clearly they were on friendly terms again.
He had black hair, red moustache.
James dies, 1948:
He died 30 Eccles St, Dublin (think part of Mater Hospital), Sun 21 Nov 1948 [NOT 22 Nov], age 75 yrs [GROI].
Donnelly's closed for two days, Mon 22 and Tue 23 Nov, as a mark of respect. See notice.
Funeral 23 Nov 1948, bur Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. Fr.Paddy celebrated the mass.
His daughter in [Lavelle, 1961] says: "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."
However this does not give the full picture. Those present at the funeral 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 James O'Mara papers.
Obituaries of James O'Mara:
The family sold Cashel House in 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:
She met Dick Lavelle when both at UCG, her studying Science, him studying Medicine.
They possibly first met at Barfield c.1918.
On her passport dated 5 March 1920 it gives occupation: "University student".
After her father had gone to US with de Valera, she sailed to US (with her mother) to see her father in Apr 1920, age 21. On board ship she wrote: "We have a dance every night; all kind of nationalities here .. I have danced with a Swede, a Norwegian, a Greek, a Bulgarian, an American - isn't that funny?" She spent some time in summer 1920 in New York.
She and Dick got engaged think late 1920. They didn't get married until he got his first job.
In winter of 1920-21, with their parents still in the US, Pat and Steen put up IRA men on the run from the British in Fitzwilliam Place, and allowed Sinn Fein committees to hold their (illegal) meetings there. Their father didn't hear of all this for months afterwards, and was not happy when he did.
She mar 2 Jan 1924 to Dick Lavelle and had issue.
They mar at St.Andrew's church, Westland Row, Dublin.
Pat researched family tree.
She was author of biography of her father.
James O'Mara and Liam Mellows (executed by the Free State in December 1922).
Mellows was a good friend, and O'Mara tried desperately to stop his execution.
See larger and full size.
From here. Original from Capuchin Annual 1972.
AI animation of Agnes Cashel in 1905 photo.
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