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1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mahaffy, Sir John Pentland

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MAHAFFY, SIR JOHN PENTLAND (1830-1919), Irish classical scholar (see 17.394). He became vice-provost of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1913 and succeeded Dr. Traill as provost in 1914. His provostship covered an eventful period in the history of Ireland and of the college, and Dr. Mahaffy took an active part in the questions which agitated the country. He was a vigorous supporter of the cause of the Allies in the World War, and encouraged the loyal effort of the college, which sent practically all its young men who were eligible for service to the front. Though a strong Unionist by conviction, he believed that the conditions after the rebellion of 1916 necessitated compromise. At his invitation the Irish Convention met in Trinity College in 1917, and Dr. Mahaffy, who was one of the members nominated by the Government, took an active part in the debates. He pressed for a solution of the Irish question on the lines of Swiss federalism, and embodied his views in a minority report which was signed also by Dr. Crozier, Protestant Archbishop of Armagh. In recognition of the services of the college during the war, Dr. Mahaffy was in 1918 made a G.B.E., the Lord Lieutenant, Visct. French, at the same time giving him the accolade. Dr. Mahaffy was thus the first Roman Catholic priest to be made a knight. Dr. Mahaffy held many foreign and other distinctions; he was a D.C.L. of Oxford, an LL.D. of St. Andrew's, a Ph.D. of Louvain and a Ph.D. of Athens, as well as a corresponding member of several foreign learned societies. From 1911 to 1916 he was president of the Royal Irish Academy. He died April 30 1919.