In 2011, Mr. Thomas F. Mahoney, Jr. of Buffalo Grove, Illinois donated his collection of Irish books to The Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library in honor of his father, Tom O’Mahony (1893-1985).
Thomas F. Mahoney, Jr. is a graduate of Leo High School in Chicago (Class of '54), received a B.A. in English from St. Joseph's College and a J.D. from Loyola University. He is a Navy veteran, and served as a corporate attorney for many years before retiring in 1996.
Thomas Francis O'Mahony was born in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland in 1893. He emigrated to America in 1913 and spent over forty years as a switchman and yard conductor on the Grand Trunk Railroad. Mr. O'Mahony hurled for almost twenty years for the McSweeney's and the Harry Bolands. He married Margaret Grace Curran, and they had two children, Thomas and Patricia. After graduation, Patricia became a sister in the Providence Order.
Chicago's best hurling club ever: McSweeney's, 1923. Tom O'Mahony is in the back row, fifth from the left, with no cap. Click on the picture to see a larger image.
|The family Mahoney through the years. Click on any picture to see a larger image.|
The O Mahony Journal (number 21, 1998) includes an article by Thomas F. Mahoney, Jr. entitled Emigrant and Exile: Remembering My Father. The article is a vivid and touching biography of a working man who was dedicated to his God, adopted country, Irish independence, and family. Tom O'Mahony taught his children well: give an honest effort if someone is paying you, always take care of your family, and don't skip Mass. The Library is proud to offer the compete article in PDF format.
The Mahoney Gift Book Collection, acquired by Thomas F. Mahoney, Jr. over a lifetime, consists of over 1,100 books on Irish culture, fiction, history, literature, politics, and society. The books are cataloged in the Library of Congress classification system, and are located throughout the Library. The oldest books, both published in 1872, are Life of Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator and Life, Opinions, Conversations and Eloquence of Daniel O'Connell: with a Preliminary Sketch of Irish History.
The collection has three strengths. The struggles for Irish independence, especially in the early twentieth century, are well covered by contemporary and historical works. One of the best contemporary works is Alvin Jackson's excellent Home Rule: an Irish History, 1800-2000 published by Oxford University Press in 2003.
Irish fiction is well documented by works from many authors, including John Banville, Maeve Binchy, Christy Brown, Michael Connelly, J.P. Donleavy, James Farrell, Bartholomew Gill, William Kennedy, Pat McCabe, Alice McDermott, John McGahern, Ralph McInerny, Brian Moore, Edna O'Brien, Frank O'Connor, William Trevor, and many others.
Finally, there are numerous works of criticism of Irish authors, especially James Joyce.
One of the rarest items in the collection is Child's History of Ireland, written in 1898 by Patrick Weston Joyce. Only ten libraries worldwide have a copy of the original edition.