Eoin "The Pope" O'Mahony

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Eoin "The Pope" O'Mahony
The Pope (left) with Prof RB McDowell
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Bust of Eoin O'Mahony, possibly in the Royal Irish Academy

Eoin "The Pope" O' Mahony (1904-1970) was a barrister, wit and political satirist. He held the titles of Auditor of the Philosoph (1927/1928) and Auditor of the TCD Historical Society at the same time. He is also an Honorary Life member of the Philosoph. He tried and failed to seek a nomination in the 1952 and 1966 Irish presidential elections.

O'Mahony was educated at Presentation Brothers' College and Clongowes Wood College before entering UCC where he was active in the Philosoph. Donal Godfrey credits him with giving the Aula Maxima, formerly the Examination Hall, its current name at a Philosoph inaugural. 'The Pope' also brought back evening wear to the Philosoph after some years of informal dress at house meetings. The UCC Maiden Speakers' Competition trophy is named after him to commemorate his contribution to debating at UCC.

His reign as auditor of the Society is rumoured to have ended in impeachment, a fate which also awaited him at Trinity, where his refusal to toast the King at his inaugural dinner did not win him many friends.

He went on to present "Meet the Clans" on Radio Eireann, to write for the Sunday Review and to be a visiting Professor at Southern Illinois University - where his papers are currently held.

Conflicting Information[edit]

The Hist Website states that Eoin O'Mahony's auditorship of the TCD Historical Society was in fact in the academic year 1930-1931.

Auditorial Address[edit]

The title his address was "The Pathology of Democracy with Particular Reference to Personal Liberty under Flexible and Rigid Constitutions."

It was delivered to the then University Philosophical Society, Cork, during the Session 1927-1928.

It was awarded the 1927 Governor General's Gold Medal for Legal Essay, and subsequently published in the Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, which is the source for the address which can be read in full here:
Eoin "The Pope" O'Mahony's Auditorial Address

See Also[edit]

Debating Experience[edit]

Winner Gold Medal Debate circa 1920s.


Irish Times 25/2/1980
Irish Independent 5/1/1968‎
O'Mahony Society Journal
Lysaght, Charles, 'Eoin O'Mahony', Dictionary of Irish Biography
Eoin "The Pope" O'Mahony's Auditorial Address