We are now basing our own research around the following outline to which we will be adding considerably more information. It is a biographical sketch concerning the life of Aodogán O'Rahilly.
Once the outline is established on this Blog we will add a button next to the Introduction where you can access it as one page. Its details will then also be added to the main Timeline page. The foundation for this outline was written by Shaun Boylan as part of the Dictionary of Irish Biography. Our expanded version will incorporate a lot of new details, but the original version published by Cambridge University Press, is still available for you to read at:
Aodogán John Eoin O'Sullivan O'Rahilly was born on September 22, 1904 at Hove, England. He became the third of four sons of Michael Joseph O'Rahilly, and Aodogán's father became the second person to adopt the title of 'The O'Rahilly'.
Aodogán's mother is Nancy (née Brown) O'Rahilly. She was U.S. citizen whose father owned wollen mills in Philadelphia, Pennsyvania.
Aodogán O'Rahilly was age eleven years in 1916 when his father died during the 'Rising'.
As previously noted, Aodogán O'Rahilly attended the Mount Saint Benedict private Catholic school in County Wexford. It was founded by a parent private Catholic school in England, but the Irish version morphed ".... from an imported English public school model to a school considered suitable for the [Irish] republican elite."
In the years that followed, "the Irish language and a history centered on nation-building—were adopted wholesale into the new educational program of the Irish Free State after 1922," (see the reference in Part 17 of 'Aodogán's Latent Agenda'), and Aodogán, along with his brothers, became immersed in this way of way of thinking about Ireland.
Aodogán then attended University College Dublin (UCD), but from 1922 to 1923 during the Civil War, Aodogán O'Rahilly joined the forces fighting against the Treaty with England. Aodogán then he returned to UCD, which is where he read the works of Karl Marx and George Bernard Shaw. They helped to prompt him into joining the 'Friends of Soviet Russia' and declaring a communist political affiliation.
In 1926 Aodogán graduated from UCD with a degree in engineering. He then began work in the UCD Engineering Department on Post Office projects. Nine months later, he went to work at a bacon factory in Dundalk.
This brings us to the beginning of a time period which had been fuzzy, because we were not sure when Aodogán O'Rahilly decided to branch out on his own. Now we know. The year was 1929 when Aodogán O'Rahilly created his own business to manufacture concrete roof tiles. That now appears to be the year when Aodogán O'Rahilly first went into business for himself. The year was previously unknown to us, but Shaun Boylan has recorded 1929 as being that starting point.
It looks as if Aodogán's initial venture began before the company called Weatherwell Ltd was brought into existence. Aodogán O'Rahilly may have originally called his business 'Condalkin Tile Company' - after the name of the community next to Dublin where he had established both his home and enterprise.
On February 19, 1932, the Irish Press reported the election results for candidates who stood for Dublin South, and they included Aodogán O'Rahilly who was at the time going by the name of Eogan and represented Fianna Fail. He was not elected.
In an edition of the 'Wicklow People' newspaper for February 3, 1934, there appeared a news report which upset Aodogán O'Rahilly to the point that he reacted by writing a letter of complaint to that newspaper. Aodogán's response was published on February 24, 1934.
The original report identified Aodogán's business as the 'Condalkin Tile Company', but Aodogán O'Rahilly responded in the newspaper on behalf of Weatherwell Ltd.
It is interesting to note that Aodogán O'Rahilly stated that the "first tiles made by us were used over four years ago ....". So this raises a question about what he meant by "us"? Was it Weatherwell Ltd, or was it an unregistered company called 'Clondalkin Tile Company'? His letter was written on behalf of Weatherwell Ltd., which could simply have absorbed the 'Clondalkin Tile Company' business.
The reason for raising this issue is because until relatively recent times, the business records reflecting the active dates of Irish companies was not available Online, and the documented paper trail is somewhat expensive in both time and money to obtain from the government in Dublin. This is what official records currently reflect:
Aodogán says that the manufacturer that he identified as "us", began manufacturing roofing tiles "four years ago". He made this statement in his letter which was published in the year 1934, and four years earlier the year would have been either 1929 or 1930. But if Weatherwell Ltd was not registered until 1932, then it is likely that Aodogán was trading as the 'Clondalkin Tile Company', as noted in the original newspaper story to which he was responding. Shaun Boylan continued his own summary with these words: "Always determined to found his own business, in 1929 he finally established an enterprise to manufacture concrete roof tiles."
Also during 1932, which was the same year in which he registered Weatherwell Tile Company Limited, Aodogán "stood as a Fianna Fáil candidate in Dublin South in the elections to the dáil but failed to win a seat", Shaun Boylan.
On January 30, 1934 Aodogán O'Rahilly married Marion O'Connor (born October 10, 1905) in Philadelphia, like Aodogán's mother. His wife was the daughter of Michael Joseph O'Connor who was born in Ireland and emigrated to New York as a boy.
[PLEASE NOTE: This text has been shortened in length since first publication due to additional information becoming available. It will be incorporated into the next part of this monologue.]
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