Patrick James Foley

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Patrick James Foley (1836–28 June 1914) was a successful financial entrepreneur and an Irish politician and Member of Parliament for Galway Connemara (UK Parliament constituency) from 1885 to 1895.

Son of Patrick Foley, of Sligo, he was born in Leeds[1] and educated at Catholic schools in Prescot and Leeds. In 1864 he founded the Pearl Life Assurance Loan and Investment Company Ltd, renamed the Pearl Life Assurance Company in 1874, and was later President. He was also chairman of the Industrial Assurances Protection Association and president of the National Amalgamated Approved Society founded in 1912.[2]

He was elected unopposed as M.P. for Galway Connemara in 1885 and 1886. When the Irish Parliamentary Party split in December 1890 over the leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell, Foley sided with the Anti-Parnellites and at the 1892 general election he was challenged by a Parnellite, J. H. Joyce. However, he retained the seat easily, by 2,637 votes to 598.[3]

Foley was secretary of the Irish National League of Great Britain.[4]

He married, in 1862, a daughter of John Lawrence, of Liverpool.

There is a statue to Foley on the front of the Pearl Chambers building on the Headrow in Leeds.[5]


  1. ^ The Times, 29 June 1885
  2. ^ The Times, 29 June 1914
  3. ^ Walker (1978)
  4. ^ The Times, 3 June 1895
  5. ^ Discovering Leeds - The Headrow at;


  • Brian M. Walker, ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency MP for Galway Connemara
Succeeded by
William O'Malley