Irish bishop and national leader; b. district of Farney, County Monaghan, 1600; executed Sept. 17, 1650, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. Son of Loughlin MacMahon, he was a scion of the ruling family of the Gaelic territory of Oriel. He studied at the Irish College at Douai, and at the Pastoral College in Louvain where he obtained his D. D. degree and was appointed superior. In 1633 he returned to Ireland as vicar apostolic of his native Clogher. On the Continent he had engaged in plots to secure aid for an Irish uprising, and later was active in enlisting troops in Ireland for Owen Roe O'Neill's regiment of the Spanish army in Flanders. After his appointment to the See of Down and Connor in 1641, he was involved in insurrection and was one of Ulster's representatives on the Supreme Council of the Confederation of Kilkenny and counselor of Owen Roe O'Neill. He opposed the Ormond Peace of 1646, since he rejected any settlement with Charles I's representative that did not provide religious freedom and the restoration of confiscated Catholic property. On O'Neill's death he was in 1650 chosen to lead the Ulster army, and was defeated at Scariffhollis on June 21 of that year. Wounded and captured in a skirmish with Cromwellian troops, he was executed and his head was impaled outside Enniskillen Castle.
Bibliography: j. t. gilbert, ed., Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland from 1641 to 1652 (Dublin 1879–80). p. f. moran, Spicilegium Ossoriense (Dublin 1874–84). s. p. Ó mÓrdha "Ever MacMahon," Studies 40 (1951) 323–333; 41 (1952) 91–98. Commentarius Rinuccinianus, ed. j. kavanagh, 6 v. (Dublin 1932–49).
[s. p. Ó mÓrdha]