This is the first biography of barrister, polemical journalist and party activist Kevin O’Shiel, perhaps the only English and Jesuit TCD-educated northern Irish Sinn Fein nationalist.
Born into an established Ulster family just a fortnight after the death of Parnell and dying in the year following the outbreak of the modern ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, O’Shiel was in many ways atypical of the Irish nationalists of his day.
Election agent for Arthur Griffith in the Cavan by-elections and a friend of Michael Collins, he was to sit as the first judge in the Dail courts. He held various offices from January 1922, including assistant legal advisor to the Provisional and first FS government and director of North Eastern Boundary Bureau. He was also Chair of the Garda Commission Report, and prepared Ireland’s case for admission to the League of Nations.
From 1923 to 1963 he served as an Irish Land Commissioner. Richly illustrated, the book draws on substantial archival research, including its subject’s extensive unpublished memoirs, shining a light on O’Shiel’s life and career and offering a rare insight into middle-class Ulster Catholic nationalist culture in the late 19th- and 20th centuries.
- First biography of a hugely significant Irish nationalist
- Covers a key period of Irish history and politics from the death of Parnell to the outbreak of The Troubles
- Fascinating detailed personal memories of key figures in early 20th century Irish history, among them Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith.
Table of Contents
1. Kevin O’Shiel of Omagh: Politics and Society in Late Nineteenth-Century Tyrone
2. Formation I: Faith, Family, Schooling
3. Formation II: Student Days at Trinity College: Dublin 1909-1913
4. From Home Ruler to Sinn Féin Activist: O’Shiel’s Political Apprenticeship: 1913-1917
5. Elections 1917-1918 and their Consequences
6. Judge in the Dáil Courts and the War of Independence 1919-1921
7. The Practical Business of State-Building 1922-24
8. The North Eastern Boundary Bureau and the Boundary Commission 1922-1925
9. The Land Commission 1923-1963
1. Appendix I The O’Shiels of Ulster
2. Appendix II Letters of General James Shields to his brother Patrick (1858-74)
3. Appendix III Leaflets No. 1, 4 and 5 of the North Eastern Boundary Bureau
About the Author
Eda Sagarra is a former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin, and the author of six single-authored, one co-authored and seven edited books.