Men of a ‘certain age’ (ok, those over 55) sometimes ask, after my introduction, if I am related to the Eoin O’Mahony. I am sure I am related to many Eoin O’Mahonys. However, The Pope was a “a barrister, wit and political satirist“, was from Cork and died in 1970. And he was called The Pope, in light of his expressed wish (oh the wit!) to become the pontiff. While I did grow up in Cork, was a debater and went to the same school as my namesake, I am not a former member of Fianna Fail or a visiting professor at Southern Illinois University. I have reconciled myself to the fact that I will not now be the successor of Peter. Nor will I ever, ever title a paper The Pathology of Democracy.
It is also recorded, that at the 10th anniversary of his death in 1980, someone eulogised that “people now had memories of his charm, capacious mind and mantling charity.” I mantled once; it ended with me dramatically shrugging my shoulders amongst a crowd of children rolling on the ground clutching their stomachs. So, no, I am not related to the Pope O’Mahony. However, I’m considering making up some relationship with him so that I seem more interesting to men over 55.