Stephen O'Mara (senator)

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Stephen O'Mara
In office
17 September 1925 – 26 July 1926
Member of Parliament
In office
February 1886 – July 1886
ConstituencyQueen's County Ossory
Personal details
Born(1844-12-26)26 December 1844
Limerick, Ireland
Died26 July 1926(1926-07-26) (aged 81)
Limerick, Ireland
Political party
Ellen Pigott
(m. 1867)
Children12, including James and Stephen, Jnr
RelativesJoseph O'Mara (brother)

Stephen O'Mara (26 December 1844 – 26 July 1926)[1][2] was an Irish nationalist politician and businessman from Limerick.

Personal life[edit]

O'Mara's father James O'Mara was an early supporter of Isaac Butt, and owned a bacon factory in Limerick.[3] Stephen entered the family business.[1] His brother Joseph O'Mara became an opera singer. Stephen married Ellen Pigott in 1867.[1] They had 12 children, of whom the first three died of diphtheria in 1872.[1] Sons James and Stephen, Jnr became prominent Irish republicans and radicalised their father's later political views.[1] A daughter Ellen, was also a nationalist, and she and her husband started the most prolific Irish Silent film company, Film Company of Ireland.[4]

Political career[edit]

O'Mara joined Limerick Corporation in 1881,[3] becoming the first Nationalist Mayor of Limerick in 1885.[1][5] He served again the following year,[5] and headed a campaign to raise funds for an organ for the Limerick Athenaeum.[6] In a by-election in February 1886, he was returned unopposed as Irish Parliamentary Party MP for Queen's County Ossory.[1] He did not stand in the July 1886 general election. He was High Sheriff of Limerick city in 1888, 1913, and 1914.[5]

O'Mara took the Parnellite side when the Irish National League split in the 1890s.[1] In 1908, he resigned as trustee of the Party's funds.[1] In the 1918 general election, O'Mara supported Sinn Féin as it eclipsed the less radical Irish Parliamentary Party.[1] His sons were active in the Irish War of Independence; in the Irish Civil War, Stephen Snr was pro-Treaty,[1] as was his MP son James O'Mara; Stephen Jnr was anti-Treaty, though relatively conciliatory. In the 1925 election to the Free State Seanad, O'Mara was elected on the 65th and final count.[7][8] He died the following year.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Humphrys, Mark. "Stephen O'Mara". My ancestors. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Death of Senator". Seanad Éireann. 19 November 1926.
  3. ^ a b Boylan, Shaun. "O'Mara, Stephen". Dictionary of Irish Biography. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Ellen O'Mara Sullivan – Women Film Pioneers Project". Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  5. ^ a b c "List of the Mayors and Sheriffs of the City" (PDF). Limerick City Council. 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  6. ^ McMahon, James A; Seamus Flynn. "Music at the Limerick Athenaeum". The Limerick Athenaeum: The story of an Irish Theatre since 1852. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Stephen O'Mara". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  8. ^ Coakley, John (September 2005). "Ireland's Unique Electoral Experiment: The Senate Election of 1925". Irish Political Studies. 20 (3): 231–269. doi:10.1080/07907180500359327. S2CID 145175747.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Queen's County Ossory
Succeeded by