Richard Mulcahy

Location: Manor Street

 

Richard Mulcahy was born in Manor Street, Waterford in 1886. He was educated at Mount Sion Christian Brothers School and later in Thurles, County Tipperary, where his father was the postmaster. Mulcahy joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and was also a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Gaelic League.

 

During the 1916 Rising he took part in the attack on Ashbourne Royal Irish Constabulary barracks – the only successful engagement of the rebellion. Arrested after the rising he was interned. Upon his release he became Commandant of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA. In March 1918 he was appointed Chief of Staff, a position he held until January 1922. Mulcahy supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, and became Minister for Defence in the Provisional Government. Following the death of Michael Collins during the Civil War, in August 1922, Mulcahy took over as Chief of Staff of the National Army. In March 1924 he was forced to resign from cabinet during the ‘Army Mutiny’, although he returned to government the following year as Minister for the Gaeltacht.  

 

After the resignation of William T. Cosgrave in 1944, Richard Mulcahy became leader of Fine Gael. Following the 1948 general election, the first inter-party government in the history of the Irish state came to power. Because of lingering bitterness over the Civil War, Mulcahy was not acceptable to his coalition partners as Taoiseach, and therefore he stepped aside in favour of John A. Costello. Mulcahy went on to serve as Minister for Education in the new government. He retired from active politics in 1965 and died in 1971.