by ehistoryadmin on February 19, 2015


Death of Sir Bryan Mahon


We deeply regret to announce the death of Senator Sir Bryan Mahon, K.C.B., D.S.O., which took place on Tuesday at Earlsfort Mansions, Dublin, where he had been living for some months.  Sir Bryan had been in indifferent health for more than a year, notwithstanding which he attended to his duties in the Senate, up to its adjournment in July.

His two step-sons, Sir John Milbanke and Mr. Toby Milbanke, and his sister, Mrs. Tweedy, were by his bedside when he passed peacefully away at four o’clock a.m.

Sir Bryan had won distinction as a soldier before he began a career of public life in his country.  After some years of active service in Egyptian and Soudan campaigns, he came suddenly into prominence through his leadership of the force which relieved Mafeking in 1900.

At the opening of the Great War he was a Divisional Commander in India, and when the new divisions of “Kitchener’s Army” were formed he was appointed to the command of the Tenth (styled the Irish) Division, and in due course took the division to the Balkan theatre of war.  Invalided home, he returned in time to succeed Sir John Maxwell in the Irish Command after the insurrection of 1916.  Retiring in 1921, he settled down as a country gentleman, taking Mullaboden, Ballymore Eustace, Kildare, as his permanent home.

After the Treaty settlement he threw in his lot with the new State and accepted President Cosgrave’s invitation to become one of the first members of the Senate then constituted.  He took no prominent part in politics, but had an important influence on the fortunes of the Irish Free State through his activity in restoring the amenities of life in Southern Ireland through the revival of sport, and his example, as a member of the gentry class, in helping to rebuild the social structure in the country.

Bryan Thomas Mahon was born at Belleville, Co. Galway, on the 2nd April, 1862, the eldest son of Henry Blake Mahon and Matilda, daughter of Colonel Seymour, of Ballymore Castle, County Galway.  He was educated at Dr. Wall’s School, Portarlington, and his schoolboy companions included some Irishmen who afterwards became prominent, including Lord Carson, who was a cousin of his, and Sir Wm. Ridgeway, the distinguished classical scholar, who later became professor of Archaeology  at Cambridge University.

The most prominent instance of his tactful action in the many difficult situations of the Irish trouble was his decision to withdraw the military from the streets of Dublin on the day appointed for the funeral of Thomas Ashe, who had died while on hunger strike in Mountjoy Jail.

On the death of Mr. E. Kennedy of Bishopscourt, in 1925, Gen. Sir Bryan Mahon was persuaded to accept the control of the Punchestown meeting, and under his able management many improvements were made at the world-famed meeting.

The funeral took place on yesterday (Friday) from the UniversityChurch, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, after Requiem Mass to Mullaboden, and was private.

Re-typed by Mary Murphy

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