Laurence O'Neill (1864-1943), Lord Mayor of Dublin (1917-1924)
Laurence O'Neill (1864-1943) was Lord Mayor of Dublin during key years in modern Irish history, 1917-1924. During these troubled years, he held the confidence of his fellow counselors and was hailed in ballad as the greatest Lord Mayor since Daniel O'Connell. He combined charm with oratorical gifts, political skill, mediation in industrial disputes, and a strong social conscience. In 1916, O'Neill was wrongfully imprisoned, an experience which gave him empathy with political prisoners and enabled him to be a successful negotiator between them and the authorities, especially in cases of hunger strike. As Lord Mayor, he convened and chaired the Mansion House Conference against conscription, helping to unite all shades of nationalist opinion against this proposal. A constitutional nationalist himself, Laurence O'Neill was friendly with de Valera and Michael Collins, the Dail met in the Mansion House and republican leaders secretly found shelter there during the Troubles. At the same time, Lord Mayor O'Neill cultivated the leading authorities so as to promote openness to negotiation, employment, and civic peace. This important biography by Thomas J. Morrissey SJ restores O'Neill to his rightful place as a champion of liberty, justice, and national pride - a patriot who was a man of peace and an outstanding Lord Mayor.
Publication Date: 1/10/2014