Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/MacCarthy, John George
MACCARTHY, JOHN GEORGE (1829–1892), Irish land commissioner and author, born at Cork in June 1829, was son of John MacCarthy, of Cork. He was educated at a private school in that city. He was admitted a solicitor in Easter term 1853, and continued to practise in Cork until 1881. From 1874 to 1880 he represented Mallow in parliament as a home ruler. While in parliament he devoted particular attention to the Irish land question, and his mastery of the subject led to his appointment as an assistant commissioner under the Land Act of 1881. On the passing of the Land Purchase Act in 1885, MacCarthy was appointed one of the two commissioners selected to carry out that measure. He was a firm believer in the efficacy of peasant proprietorship, and administered the different Land Purchase Acts with conscientious care.
MacCarthy was connected with many philanthropic institutions, notably with the Cork Young Men's Society, of which he was for a long period president, and in recognition of services to the catholic church, he was made a knight of the order of St. Gregory by Pope Leo XIII. He was married to Maria Josephine, daughter of John Hanrahan, esq., of Cork, and had a family. He died in London on 7 Sept. 1892, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.
He was the author of the following works, in addition to several legal pamphlets:
- ‘The History of Cork, a Lecture,’ Cork, 1856, 8vo, and almost entirely rewritten and republished in 1869.
- ‘Letters on the Land Tenures of Europe.’
- ‘Irish Land Questions, plainly stated and answered,’ London, 1870, 8vo.
- ‘A Plea for Home Government of Ireland,’ London, 1871, 8vo.
- ‘The French Revolution of 1792: its Causes, Events, and Results,’ Dublin, 1884, 12mo.
- ‘Henry Grattan, a Historical Study,’ Dublin, 1886, 12mo.
[Cork Examiner, 9 Sept. 1892; Freeman's Journal, 8 Sept. 1892; Irish Monthly, xx. 548–9; Thom's Official Directory for 1892; Irish Law Times, 8 Oct. 1881.]