Maurice George Moore

Maurice George Moore

Maurice George Moore (10 August 1854 – 8 September 1939) was an Irish soldier, author and politician.

Moore was the second of four sons born to George Henry Moore of Moore Hall, County Mayo, and Mary Blake of Ballinafad, County Galway. His elder brother was the writer, George A. Moore.

Moore joined the British army in 1874 and saw action in the Kaffir War and Anglo-Zulu War. During the Second Boer War he was present at the battles of Ladysmith, Colenso, Spion Kop and Vaal Krantz. He was highly regarded and decorated, been awarded the rank of brevet colonel in 1902. However, his horror at the creation of concentration camps and British military ill-treatment of Boer civilians led to him writing anonymous articles which were published in the Freeman's Journal, which brought attention to the matters. He retired from the army on 16 July 1906.

Moore was a fluent Irish language speaker – speaking it with fellow members of the Connaught Rangers – and a supporter of the Gaelic League. In 1903 he started evening schools in Mayo, teaching the language and Irish history, supporting the 1909 introduction of Irish as a compulsory subject for the National University of Ireland. This brought him into conflict with the catholic bishops. He was heavily involved in rural development and a supporter of the cooperative movement.

A member of the provisional committee of the Irish Volunteers in 1913, he was made the organisations inspector general, spending much of 1914 organising the troops in Ireland. He was a very reluctant supporter of John Redmond's takeover of the Volunteers, finally breaking with him in 1916. In that year he collected a petition with Agnes O'Farrelly asking for a reprieve of the death sentence against Roger Casement. From 1917 he was a member of Sinn Féin, which led to his Dublin home been raided a number of times by the British army during the Irish War of Independence.

He served as Irish envoy to South Africa and France in 1921 and 1922, and was made a member of the Irish Free State Seanad in the latter year. He remained a senator until his death in Dublin in 1939.[1] He criticised the boundary agreement and the financial settlement between the UK and Ireland. He joined Fianna Fáil in 1928.

Moore married Evelyn, daughter of John Stradford Handcock of Dunmore, County Galway and had two sons, Maurice and Ulick. Ulick served with the 6th Connaught Rangers and was killed in action at Sainte-Emilie on 22 March 1918.



  • The Moores of Moore Hall, Joseph Hone, 1939
  • The Irish Free State and its Senate, Donal O'Sullivan, 1940
  • Dictionary of Irish Biography, pp.651-52, Cambridge, 2010

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