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McCarthy, Justin

McCarthy, Justin (1830–1912). Irish politician and writer. McCarthy was a journalist who was elected as Home Rule MP for Co. Longford in 1879. He moved to represent Derry City in 1886, but returned as MP for North Longford (1892–1900). As vice-chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party he acted as mediator between Parnell and the Liberal government in November 1890, at the time of the O'Shea divorce: when Parnell was rejected by the majority of his parliamentary party, McCarthy assumed the chairmanship, a position which he held until 1896. He pursued a second career as a popular historian and novelist, producing in 1877 a successful History of Our Own Times. He retired from politics in 1900, but remained a prolific author until his death. He was awarded a civil list pension in 1903. His reputation remains burdened by Parnell's brutal observation that ‘he was a nice old gent for a tea party’.

Alvin Jackson

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