Sophie O'Brien Descriptive List (Ref. PR25)


until 1918. In 1886 he helped to initiate the ‘Plan of Campaign’ for land reform by the Irish Land League. In 1887 O’Brien was involved in a rent strike at Mitchelstown, and 3 tenants were shot dead by police outside the town’s courthouse where O’Brien was brought for trial (the ‘Mitchelstown Massacre’). In 1898 he helped to form the United Irish League, which was more or less taken over by the Irish Party. In 1910, William O'Brien founded the All for Ireland League, a group of dissident nationalists mainly from the Cork area, following the rejection of his proposal for a land conference and a policy of conciliation. Editor of the Irish People 1899-1909 and Cork Free Press 1910-1916. He was opposed to Home Rule at the expense of a united Ireland, and expressed support for Britain’s war effort. He did not contest the 1918 parliamentary election.

Content & Structure Scope and Content

The papers are divided into 4 main sections. Section A. contains some of Sophie O'Brien’s writings and manuscripts. Her level of education is apparent from her 1887 article on Lord Shaftesbury (PR25/1). Her writings include a draft manuscript of her unpublished autobiography ‘Recollections of a Long Life’ (PR25/2), a more complete typescript of the autobiography (PR2/3), plus additional notes she intended to add to the work (PR25/4). Also found are some ‘Intimate Notes about William O'Brien and some of his friends’, which give a personal insight into William O'Brien’s character and political life, and their life in Ireland (PR25/5). Section B contains correspondence, mainly from Sophie O'Brien to her friend Captain Lucey in 1938, concerning the proposed publication of her autobiography. Section C.I contains news clippings of articles by Sophie O'Brien in various newspapers and journals covering personal and non- personal topics. Section C.II contains other news cuttings, including a number relating to husband William O'Brien M.P., and an article by him on Tim Healy (PR25/30). Section D contains photographs. These include photographs of Sophie O'Brien, William O'Brien, friends and relations, a photo. of William O'Brien with press associates in the U.S.A. in 1887 (PR25/36), and photographs of scenes outside Tipperary Courthouse in October 1890 (PR25/39 - /42).

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