Photograph compliments of Caitriona O Dochartaigh, DSG
1868-1943 Solicitor qualified 1889. Dublin-based lawyer, he was a philanthropist with a refined civic sensibility. Knighted in the June 1914 King’s Birthday Honours. He was very active in the cultural and social life of Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. Educated at Belvedere College he later joined its Board of Governors. He ran the firm of T. F. O’Connell & Son, solicitors in Dublin, which had a very extensive practice. He was active as a committee member of the Arts and Crafts Association and as a member of the senate of the University of Dublin. In 1929 he was ordained a priest following the death of his wife, Mary, in 1925.
O’Connell had Cork connections. His aunt Mother Aloysius O’Connell left Rutland Street, Cork in 1843 to found a community of the Sisters of Mercy in Oaklea, Sunderland. When John was ordained a priest, he said his first mass in Oaklea. He also endowed the Sisters of Mercy in Green Street, Sunderland with liturgical items
Personal friendships were at the heart of the commission’s success. Sir John was on good terms with Sir Bertram Windle., KSG In Windle O’Connell found a kindred spirit and an enthusiastic advocate of the Celtic Revival and Arts and Crafts philosophy as his unpublished scrapbook testifies. In 1914 O’Connell, with the support of Windle and the Munster bishops, purchased St. Anthony’s Hall for the lodging of Catholic male students. He was admitted as Knight of Malta 1936. In the year 1929 the distinction of membership of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem was conferred on him by Pope for services rendered by him to the work and mission of the Latin Patriarchate in the Holy Land and in connection with the schools in those countries. Died at Brockenhurst, Hampshire.