Tuesday 28 February 2017

Mistresses who played a role in Irish politics

Famous Irish mistresses include two women who played significant roles in the lives of the political leaders who were their partners.

Kitty O'Shea was an aristocratic English woman (her father was a Lord) who fell in love with Charles Stewart Parnell. At the time she was married to another Irishman Captain William O'Shea. Her relationship with Parnell went on for years and they had children together. The scandal caused Parnell's political downfall.

In more recent times, the Fianna Fail leader Charles J Haughey conducted a lengthy affair with another English woman, Terry Keane, the daughter of an Irish doctor working in England. Ms Keane came to live in Ireland and became a journalist. She was a leading light in social circles in Dublin and was friends with senior figures in politics. Her affair with Haughey continued for over 20 years. She died in 2008.

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