A rare photograph of Liam Mellows and Sinn Fein Director of Elections James O’Mara (O’Mara was Robert Brennan’s successor as Sinn Fein Director of Elections in 1918).
Photograph location unknown but possibly the United States. Mellows and O’Mara had both spent time together in America; Mellows from 1916 to 1920 and O’Mara from 1919 to 1921. During their time together in the USA, they had become close friends. O’Mara was the organizer for the infamous Republican Bond initiative. He was also founder member of American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic (AARIR) in 1920.
O’Mara, a successful bacon merchant and businessman, had once been MP for the Irish Parliamentary Party (1900-1907) for the seat of Kilkenny South but soon switched allegiances to Sinn Fein, later becoming TD for that party in the same constituency. O’Mara supported the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty.
O’Mara’s obituary stated that Mellows was one of his closest friends in the movement and he strongly protested against Mellows execution in December 1922 and according to daughter, it “left the longest and most bitter memory of all the bitter memories of the civil war”.
James O’Mara died on 21 November 1948 and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.
Photograph source: Capuchin Annual 1972.