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O’Mahony, John (1816–06 February 1877), political leader, was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland, the son of Daniel O’Mahony, a landowner. He obtained his primary education at Hamblin’s School in Middletown, County Cork, and was admitted in 1833 to Trinity College, Dublin. The death of his father and his older brother brought his studies to an abrupt end, as O’Mahony returned to “Ballycurkeen House,” the family estate, in 1835 to manage the property he inherited....

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Roberts, William Randall (06 February 1830–09 August 1897), merchant, politician, and Fenian, was born in Mitchelstown, county Cork, Ireland, the son of Randall Roberts and Mary Bishop. Nothing is known about his parents’ occupations. William received only a little education, and at the age of nineteen he immigrated to the United States. He went to work in New York City as a dry goods clerk. In 1857 Roberts went into business for himself but was financially ruined in the panic of that same year. He began again, however, and ran his own store in the Bowery so successfully that by 1869 he was able to retire from business as a wealthy man....