Charles P. Dolan, Sinn Fein MP for North Leitrim

Sinn Fein is Gaelic for "Ourselves Alone"

Charles P. Dolan was a very interesting character. He was the boyhood school mate of my Grandmother Anne McTiernan, nee McGreal. My Sainted grandmother never liked him as when they were kids and she was walking to school, Charles would never give her a ride in his dog cart. They both went to the same school but were never close friends.

Charles was always interested in shoes. He tried to start a boot manufacturing plant in North Leitrim but it never got off the ground. He was a contemporary of P.A McHugh, the publisher of the Sligo Champion newspaper. Bernard McTiernan, The Champion of Sligo worked for McHugh as sub editor. Both McHugh and his sub editor Bernard McTiernan were against Sinn Fein and for the U.I.L. Charles was also a contemporary of Rev. Stephen McTiernan, my third cousin. Rev. Stephen was a very powerful voice in Leitrim during these Land War years when Sinn Fein was starting up. At the time the common people and the leaders around North Leitrim did not like Sinn Fein or what it stood for. Since Charles Dolan was the Sinn Fein candidate for the British Parliament from North Leitrim they voted him out of office...sort of knocked him off his dog cart as they say. Charles' uncle was the Vicar General of the Diocese and conspicuous by his silence on his nephews campaign for office as MP.

In 1983 while we were in the deeds office in Carrick-on-the Shannon, on a visit with my dad to Leitrim, after learning that we were from St. Louis, a clerk in the Carrick-on-the-Shannon deeds office asked me if I had ever heard of Charles Dolan. At the time I had not but the clerk proceeded to tell me all about him.

Later on in history, after Charles had resigned his MPship by taking the Chiltern Hundreds* he immigrated to St. Louis, MO USA right after the turn of the century. St. Louis had a majority of all the shoe manufacturing plants in the country early in the 20th century. Charles tried unsuccessfully to transport the shoe technology of the time back to Leitrim to set up manufacturing plants. St. Louis since that time has gone out of the shoe business.

While in St. Louis, he joined the MASONs which at the time was hated more by the Catholic Church than Communism ever was. He also married a non Catholic, which was regarded as only just below the sin of joining the MASONs. Because of this Hugh McTiernan VI, my grandfather and the other St. Louis Irish immigrants would never talk to him.

Strange how these events lead up to my poor old dad, John Francis McTiernan, who about the mid 1930's is attending law school at Washington University. Who should turn up to be my dad's major law professor, none other than Charles P. Dolan. I wonder what difficulty my dad had to even get a passing grade in Dolan's class.

My dad, at the time was trying to stay in college to keep playing baseball and Law school gave him several more years of playing time.

* Chiltern Hundreds is a legal device used to resign from the British Parliament as it is by law illegal for an MP to resign. The Chiltern Hills are in the counties of Oxford, Buckingham and Bedford. The area was once infested with robbers on account of which an official named the Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds was appointed by James I to protect the people (and his tax base). It is held to be an office of profit under the crown and any member of Parliament accepting an office of profit under the crown must vacate his seat, subject to re-election. The custom dates from 1750.

Michael McTiernan

N40 03' 09.4"
W75 24' 14.1"

Last updated Jan 1, 2000

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