The murder of Major Mahon, Strokestown, County Roscommon, 1847

Padraig Vesey

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ISBN: 978-1-84682-119-6
August 2008. 64pp.

On 2 November 1847 Major Denis Mahon was murdered by an assassin near his home at Strokestown House. The murder sent shock waves through Ireland. Some sent it as part of a Catholic plot to execute Protestant landlords that would soon spread out of Roscommon into other parts of Ireland. Others saw it as revenge on a rapicious evicting landowner. This short book penetrates Mahon's dilemma of trying to recover a bankrupt estate in a grossly overpopulated part of pre-Famine Ireland. Together with his agent he implemented a reform programme that created tensions among his tenants and these problems were exacerbated by personal disagreements with the local parish priest. The result was a series of events that changed not only the world of Roscommon forever but had repercussions to the Vatican and beyond.


Padraig Vesey is a full-time farmer in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon. He is a graduate of NUI Galway and also of NUI Maynooth.