Stephen O'Mara (senator)

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Stephen O'Mara MP (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 the city. 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]

Political career[edit]

O'Mara joined Limerick Corporation c.1880, becoming the first Nationalist Mayor of Limerick in 1885.[1][3] He served again the following year,[3] and headed a campaign to raise funds for an organ for the Limerick Athenaeum.[4] 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.[3]

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.[5] 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. ^ |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Seanad. 19 November 1926. col. 1115.
  3. ^ a b c "List of the Mayors and Sheriffs of the City" (PDF). Limerick City Council. 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur O'Connor
Member of Parliament for Queen's County Ossory
Succeeded by
William Archibald Macdonald