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Sir Bryan Mahon resigns as Commander of Irish Forces
General Sir Bryan Mahon with officers and a nurse watching a race meeting held at Lembet Camp, Salonika. 1916 Photo: © IWM (Q 31716)

Sir Bryan Mahon resigns as Commander of Irish Forces

The Curragh, 10 May 1918 - Lieutenant General Sir Bryan Mahon has resigned his command of the British forces in Ireland. Although he did not provide an explanation for his impending departure, he said he would leave Ireland ‘with the deepest regret’.

The man rumoured to be replacing Mahon is Major-General D.G. Levinge-Shaw of the Indian Army.

Sir Bryan Mahon’s resignation has compounded rather than relieved the pressure on the British administration in Ireland, according to some editorial lines. The Daily Chronicle has suggested that his principal value was in Ireland and that his ‘removal renders the Irish storm cloud appreciably blacker’.

For the Irish Independent, the departure of Mahon, whatever the reason, is ominous in its timing. It has added to the sense of upheaval, its editorial pointing out the fact that ‘practically the whole Irish executive, civil and military, has been changed, and certainly not in a direction calculated to inspire any confidence or to allay the apprehensions of those who feel that the government are bent upon a ruthless enforcement of their ‘blood tax’ proposal’.

Lt Gen. Bryan McMahon, 56, is a native of Belleville, Co. Galway and a cousin of Sir Edward Carson. He has been a military man for most of his adult life: he joined the 8th Hussars when he was 21 years-old and served in India until 1889, subsequently fighting in the Egyptian campaign of 1896, the Dongola Expedition, and later in Khartoum and Kordofan, where he was the military governor between 1901 and 1904.

In 1914, following the outbreak of war, he was appointed General Commanding Officer of the 10th (Irish) Division, and commanded the British forces at Salonika, serving with distinction at the Dardanelles in 1915. He succeeded General Sir John Maxwell in the Irish Command in 1916.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.